To stretch the Neck and the Trapezius start either standing or seated erect, place the palm of your hand on top of your head and pull your head gently toward your shoulder, hold for a count of 10.
Reverse and do the same for the opposite side of the neck.
To help get full extension for the neck and superior portion of the trapezius slowly lower your shoulder while performing the exercise.
As you continue to perform this exercise, over time, you will be able to pull your head further towards your shoulder, be gentle and do not force the stretch, but continue to get more of a stretch.
The neck and trapezius muscles stretched during this exercise are primarily sternocleidomastoid, scalene group, superior portion of the trapezius, splenius capitis, splenius cervices and deeper in the semispinalis capitis. Secondarily, the small muscles of the spine such as the longus colli, rectus capitis anterior, rectus capitis lateralis and longus capitis.
Benefits of Stretching the Neck and Trapezius:
Increases Neck and Trapezius flexibility
Improves circulation to the Neck and Trapezius
Loosens and warms up the muscles of the Neck and Trapezius prior to exercise helping to prevent injury
Loosens and helps cool down muscles after exercise to help prevent tightening and soreness of the Neck and Trapezius muscles