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Stretch of the Week: Neck Circles

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June’s second stretch of the week is a range of motion movement for the neck called Neck Circles. This movement will stretch the neck in all directions, and also provide insight into your neck’s range of motion.

If you have had prior neck surgery or other neck injuries, please skip this week’s stretch or consult your doctor prior to performing. Also, if you experience an increase in symptoms or have any new symptoms, including but not limited to pain, lightheadedness or numbness or tingling in the arms or hands, discontinue the stretch and consult with your doctor.

How to perform:

  1. You can perform this stretch seated or standing. Begin by looking forward as shown in the middle photo marked 1. Sit tall without slouching.
  1. Lower the chin to the chest without slumping forward. This is shown in the left photo marked 2.
  1. From position 2, gently roll the neck to the left as shown in the top photo marked 3. Gaze is down. Still remain sitting tall.
  1. From position 3, gently roll the head back as shown in the right photo marked 4. Gaze is up at the sky, still remain sitting tall.
  1. From position 4, gently roll the neck to the right as shown in bottom photo marked 5. Gaze is down, still remain sitting tall.
  1. Combine all these movements into a slow continuous fluid movement of circling the neck around in its range of motion. Do three times one way, return to the starting position, then complete three times the opposite way. If you feel a tight spot, try staying in that position for a breath or two to get a little extra stretch. Come back to the center (photo 1) when you are done.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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StretchingWeekly Stretchneck circlesNeck Stretchesstretch of the week

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