Let’s Rip The Neck Muscles!

Let’s Rip the Muscles

By Sharon Truelove

For many, when starting an exercise program, we think of working on the larger muscles that we see and ignore the smaller ones that we don’t see (usually postural muscles that help stabilize us and also aid the dominant muscles). This approach to exercise can lead to unbalance…certain muscles tighten while others weaken.

Deep neck flexors are commonly neglected (Longus Capitus and Longus Colli). Hours of staring a computer monitor may cause chin jutting. A simple exercise to help relieve this particular tension is a “chin tuck”.

Place your hand behind your head (you may also use a towel). Retract the chin so that your head pushes into your hands (or towel). Hold 5-10 seconds/repeat 2-8 times.

The trapezius is divided into upper, middle and lower. Because we may set for long periods (usually with poor posture), the middle and lower part of the traps may weaken

A good exercise for this area is to lean over a ball (or just bend over) & put your hand at 10 o’clock & 2 o’clock, thumbs up, lift the arms up without moving your body. Push your tongue into the roof of the mouth to help stabilize the neck. Range of motion should be no more than 4”-6”. Repeat 2-8 times.


For  Serratus Anterior, Locate a window ledge, cabinet or chair. Place hands a little wider than shoulder width. Maintaining a straight line from head to heels, collapse the shoulder blades, then push out without moving the elbows. Repeat 12-20 times.

31 thoughts on “Let’s Rip The Neck Muscles!”

  1. Thanks for this I needed something to relieve the stress and tension in my neck. The birthday boy stressed me out to the Max on Friday!!!!! But I bet He had a drink after he finally got to leave. LOL
    You all are a wonderful and helpful team of Instructors. Thanks again to all of you and HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!!!!

  2. I didn’t know that pushing your tongue into the roof of your mouth could help stabilize you…good stuff! 🙂

    1. putting the tip of your toungue to the back of the front teeth at the jct of the roof & teetch will also allow you to breathe more deeply 😉

  3. Get techniques! My neck and shoulder muscles are usually always hurting by the end of the weekend and these are some great areas to concentrate on to alleviate the problem. Thanks for the ideas.

  4. My family often suffers from headaches and these exercises will be very helpful. Additionally, I personally suffer from a lot of problems in the trapezius areas. I am looking forward to see if this will help me. Thank you.

  5. That is funny because when I sat down to read this I leaned back in my chair and was doing the first technique before I had even read it. It helps and feels good after sitting at a computer all day. Thank you for the other techniques I had always wondered how to work the serratus anterior.

  6. This tool is great for clients who need homework to help them recover faster. It is also a great tool for massage therapist.

    -Brittany Raines

  7. I never really thought about parts of the trapezius being weak since most of us have so much tension in our upper traps. I tried this technique, and it was crazy how much work that whole muscle really needed. Thanks!

  8. This is great! Stretching is more important than people think, this fits right with the workout routine. Thanks!

  9. This is very good information for myself and for my future clients. I will give this to them for homework and I will also pass this information to my family if they are having neck or shoulder pains.

  10. lets rip is a great title as its usually what I want to do to my head/neck area at the end of most days.These are definitely in my routine – thankyou

  11. After reading this article, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’ve been doing the last exercise this whole time, it’s something I’ve kind of done by instinct! I’ll definitely be incorporating the other exercises as well.

  12. This seems more practical then the way I was roughy in highschool. I think I will have less injury this way, because once the neck goes just like my back, my days and weeks are ruined!

  13. Did this exercise. It made wrists hurt so I wonder if I was doing something incorrectly. I hope this helps with some of my neck issues. Thank you.