When your body has repeatedly gone through the process of breathing shallow (not from your diaphragm), this can stress the neck muscles on the front side of the head and neck.

Over time, thanks to that shallow breathing, your neck muscles will become very tight. In this video, I’ll show you how to do three different stretches or movements to release these overly tight muscles.

A lot of people experience head and neck aches and pains due to all kinds of stress — at work or home — and many other reasons too. One very common way you can injure these muscles is by moving your head in a forward position. It’s pretty easy to do, for example, if you’re sitting all day at work in front of a computer screen.

With the help of deeper breathing from your diaphragm, you’ll learn three stretches that mobilize muscles in these areas:

  • The suboccipital muscles located under the cranium and attached to the spine.
  • The scaline muscles, a group of three pairs of muscles in the lateral neck.
  • The levator scapulae muscle located in the side and back of the neck which lifts the scapula, the triangle-shaped bone at the back of the shoulder.
  • The sternocleidomastoid, the long muscle at the base of your skull on the sides of your neck behind the ears.

As you watch my video, an important thing to keep in mind when stretching your head and neck muscles is to be sensitive with them. On a 1-10 scale, go to about a 4 when you’re stretching them and no more than that.

Ashley Mazurek

Ashley is a go-to exercise expert at the C.H.E.K Institute.

She draws on 18 years of experience in the Fitness Industry, training as a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 4 and HLC 3, and her personal experience as a nationally ranked triathlete to coach her clients to optimal performance and health.

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