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Neck Turning Stretch - Splenius Capitus/Cervicus & SCM

This is a relatively simple stretch with a much larger pay-off. It addresses all the muscles involved in turning the head to the side. As these tighten it will be very noticeable while driving, when you turn or try to look behind you. The muscles involved are the Splenius Capitus and Splenius Cervicus, connecting the spine to the lower back of the head, and spine to the upper side of the neck. It also involves the Sternocleidomastoid connecting the back of the head to the sternum bone in front by wrapping around the side of the neck.

These are the steps to follow.

Step1: Stand or sit, with your back and neck straight.

Step2: Without bending your neck up or down, turn your head and look directly to one side. Keep your shoulders square, and your torso facing forward, throughout the rotation. To increase the turn, with the hand on side you are facing, gently press on the side of the jaw.

Step3: Maintain this position for a breath. Hold it for one to five seconds.

Step 4: Return your head to the starting position, and repeat for the other side. Repeat a few times.

For more on these and similar stretches and exercises visit eHow and YouTube.

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