Neck Exercises | Photos and Instructional Exercise Guides


The neck is located between the skull and the trunk and acts as a conduit for the areas that circulate between them. Some of these key areas consist of the larynx, trachea, esophagus, thyroid and parathyroid glands. There are key muscles in the neck that help with rotation, lateralization and tilting. For sports like football, having strong and developed neck muscles is extremely important due to the high impact this area receives when colliding with other players on the field. The short amount of time it takes to train and stretch your neck can improve athletic performance and help prevent injury. If you suffer from tightness caused by long hours of sitting at your desk during your work day, performing some basic stretching exercises should make your life much more comfortable!

Exercise Guides For Your Neck!

Cutaneous Muscle of the Neck
These muscles are located in the anterolateral region of the neck and lower face. Their origin is found in the skin covering the acromion and the different regions which include the deltoids and sub-clavicular. It is inserted into the fibers of the two cutaneous muscles intersected between the midline and ending in the chin region of the skin, just at the lower edge of the lower jaw which is continued with the external fibers of the triangular lips and cheek.

It is able to mobilize regions of skin, but is rather vestigial, since it cannot mobilize wide regions. It has an important functionality since it is fixed to the external jugular vein and keeps it open, preventing collapse. It promotes venous return through this vein.

The cutaneous muscle is innervated by a cervicofacial branch of the facial, irrigated by the superior thyroid artery. Its action is to pull the chin down, lower the corner of the lips and can extend and fold the skin of the neck.

Sternocleidomastoid Muscle
The origin of this muscle is obliquely located in the upper part of the thorax to the mastoid process. It is formed by two portions. The sternal fascia that is detached from the anterior face of the manubrium by means of a strong tendon that widens backwards until the external face of the mastoid process and the curved upper line of the occipital.

The function of the sternocleidomastoid muscle includes:

  • Bilaterally: Extension of the head.
  • Unilaterally: Homolateral inclination (on the same side of the muscle) and contralateral rotation.

The clavicular fascicle is inserted into the inner part of the clavicle by going vertically upwards and inserting itself at the edge of the mastoid process. This muscle is innervated by the spinal and cervical plexus. It allows you to bend your head over your spine and tilt it down which includes a rotating movement (towards the opposite side).

Scalene Muscles
The origin of these triangular muscles are located on each side of the neck and consist of three areas which include the anterior, middle and the posterior scalene. The anterior scalene is inserted into the anterior tubers of the spine from the third to the sixth cervical vertebra, just below the single tendon within the Lisfranc’s tubercle of the first rib.

They act as elevators of the first two ribs and are fixed points of support for the cervical spine. Taking the thorax as a fixed point of support, the cervical spine is tilted to its side and gives it a slight rotation that directs the face towards the opposite side.

The middle scalene is inserted above the anterior tubers of the last 6 cervical and under the first two ribs. The anterior scalene muscle is inserted into the anterior transverse tubers of the third to the sixth cervical and is located below the second rib.

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