The 5 Best Sternocleidomastoid Stretches

The Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is a neck muscle that is generally tight in the vast majority of people.

It may be involved with issues such as:

This blog post post contains the 5 best ways to perform Sternocleidomastoid stretches.


Do this first:

Before performing the following Sternocleidomastoid stretches, loosen up the tight neck muscle first with the following 2 release techniques.


a) Release

Sternocleidomastoid release

Instructions:

  • Locate the Sternocleidomastoid muscle.
    • (Use Google if you are not sure where it is.)
  • You should be able to feel a prominent band of muscle on each side of the neck. (see above)
  • Do not to press too deep as you may hit other sensitive structures of the neck.
  • Gently massage these muscles with a pinch grip.
  • Make sure to cover the entire length of the muscle.
  • Duration1 minute per side.

b) Glides

Sternocleidomastoid glide

Instructions:

  • Make a gentle fist with the hand.
  • Tilt your head towards the opposite side.
  • Place the back portion of the fingers against the side of the neck.
  • Apply a firm pressure into the muscle.
  • Starting at the collar bone, perform slow upwards strokes towards the area behind the ear.
  • Perform 5-10 strokes.

The 5 best Sternocleidomastoid Stretches

Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical disclaimer.


Note:

  • Make sure that you can feel the stretch specifically in the Sternocleidomastoid.
  • Do not push into pain.
  • Stretching is all about a game angles. Position yourself to produce the most effective stretch.
  • Perform the stretches 2-3/day.

1. My favorite Sternocleidomastoid stretch

sternocleidomastoid stretches

Instructions:

  • Sit in front of a table.
  • Keep your chin in and down throughout this stretch.
  • Place your left fist on the left side of your chin.
  • Place your left elbow onto the table in front of you.
  • Rest the weight of your head onto your fist.
  • Tilt your head to the left.
  • Apply further pressure to the chin to increase the stretch.
  • Aim to feel a firm stretch in the right side of the neck.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Perform on the other side.

2. SCM Stretch

sternocleidomastoid scm stretch

Instructions:

  • Tuck your chin in and downwards.
  • Tilt your head to the left.
  • Place your left hand on the rights side of your head.
  • Apply a downward pressure.
  • Slowly turn your head to the right.
  • Aim to feel a firm stretch in the right Sternocleidomastoid.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

3. SCM stretch Variation

stretch to sternocleidomastoid

Instructions:

  • Place your fingers on top of your right collar bone.
  • Pull the skin downwards.
  • Tuck your chin in and down.
  • Slowly turn your head towards the right side.
  • Tilt your head towards the left.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the right Sternocleidomastoid.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

4. Chair lean

scm stretch using chair

Instructions:

  • Sit down on a chair.
  • Using your right hand, hold onto the side of the chair.
  • Keep your shoulder completely relaxed.
  • Lean your body completely towards the left.
  • Tuck your chin in and downwards.
  • Tilt your head towards the left.
  • Place your left hand on the right side of your head
  • Apply a downward pressure.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the right Sternocleidomastoid.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

5. Neck Elongation

scm elongation stretch
  • Tuck your chin in and downwards.
  • Slide your head towards the right side.
  • Elongate the right side of your neck in an upwards direction.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the right side of the neck.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

Conclusion

A tight Sternocleidomastoid muscle can lead to several issues such as neck stiffness, reduced range of motion, headaches and postural dysfunctions..

Try out the suggested Sternocleidomastoid stretches to help loosen up your neck.

You do not need to do all of them. Pick the one that gives you the most relief. (… and do it regularly!)


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me:

Facebook | Instagram

3. Start doing the exercises!

6 thoughts on “The 5 Best Sternocleidomastoid Stretches”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.