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Neck flexion stretch 

The neck flexor stretch is designed to stretch the neck extensors and increase the flexion range of motion of the neck.
Relevant anatomy 

Most-stretched muscle: Upper trapezius
Less-stretched muscles: Longissimus capitis, semispinalis capitis, splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, scalene

Neck flexion is limited not only by the stiffness of the posterior muscles but also by the stiffness of the posterior ligaments, the strength of the flexor muscles, the alignment of the vertebral bodies with the adjacent vertebrae, the compressibility of the anterior portions of the intervertebral discs, and the contact of the chin with the chest.

Neck anatomy
Neck stretches anatomy

This stretch can be done while either sitting or standing however  greater stretch is applied when seated as standing reduces the ability to stretch because reflexes come into play to prevent a loss of balance. Therefore it is generally recommend to do this stretch while seated. During the stretch, make sure not to reduce the stretch by hunching up the shoulders. Also, keep the neck as straight as possible (no curving).
Try to touch the chin to the lowest possible point on the chest.


Neck flexion stretch

  • Place hand on back of head.
  • Gently push chin to chest.
  • Return to start position and repeat for 5-6 times

Stretching the neck extensors
Neck flexion stretch

The exercise can be  performed in other body positions also. 

Cervical flexion stretch prone lying

  • Lie face down, on bench or firm bed with head and shoulders off the edge.
  • Arms should be at side.
  • Slowly lower neck forward until a stretch is felt on the back of neck and middle back.
  • Hold, return to start position and repeat for 5-6 times


Neck flexion stretch
Neck flexion stretch prone lying

Neck flexion stretch with arms up

  • Lie face down on bench or firm bed with head and shoulders off the edge.
  • Arms should be overhead hanging down.
  • Slowly lower neck forward until a stretch is felt on the back of neck and middle back.
  • Hold, return to start position and repeat.

Neck flexion stretch with shoulder flexion
Neck flexion stretch with arms up