Why Scalene Stretch Exercises Are Important!
Before we delve into Scalene stretch exercises, let’s talk a little bit. Have you ever had neck stiffness before? I know I have! I think this is an issue that virtually all of us deal with. Indeed, in today’s reality, we may be sitting for hours a day looking at a screen. This can mean constant bad posture. It would be foolish to think that doing this for so long would have no repercussions.
Due to this constant bad posture, our neck is placed under constant stress. This can result in tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain. Even other symptoms can arise from tight neck muscles.
One neck muscle group that can get especially tight are your Scalenes. Your Scalenes are 3 muscles at the side of your neck.
Your Scalenes work to side-bend your head to each side. They also work to elevate your 1st rib higher. This is useful to bring more air into your lungs when you are exerting yourself more.
Issues with the Scalene muscles can arise when you are in constant bad posture, such as sitting with your head forward constantly. In this position, these muscles can become quite tight over time.
Being stressed can also cause Scalene muscle tightness. When we are stressed, we take more shallow breaths from our chest. When we do this, our Scalene muscles contract to elevate our 1st rib. This is to bring more air into our lungs. You can see how being constantly stressed can lead to Scalene tightness.
There is another problem that arises due to tight Scalene muscles. This issue is nerve entrapment. Coming out of your neck is a nerve bundle called the Brachial Plexus. This nerve bundle runs all the way down your arm to your fingers.
When your Scalenes are very tight, this nerve bundle can become entrapped. When this happens, you can get nerve symptoms. This includes tingling, pain, burning, and numbing sensations traveling down your arm.
Due to issues that stiff Scalenes can cause, it is beneficial to do Scalene stretch exercises! I will have a video at the end here that will go over everything with the Scalenes in detail, including the stretches.
None of the below stretches should hurt you. If they do hurt you, then don’t do them.
How To Do Anterior Scalene Stretch Exercises
All three Scalene stretches are quite similar, with only slight differences. To stretch your anterior scalene muscle, side bend your head to the opposite side you are stretching. Then, rotate your head upwards. You can use your hand to assist, but be gentle! Your neck cannot be pushed upon like your leg can, remember! Hold that stretch to effectively target the anterior portion of your Scalenes.
How To Do Posterior Scalene Stretch Exercises
To stretch your posterior scalenes, first side bend your head to the opposite side. Now, however, you are going to rotate your head downwards. Hold this stretch to target this portion of the muscle group.
How To Do Middle Scalene Stretch Exercises
Targeting the middle scalenes is the easiest stretch of all to do. To most effectively target this portion, simply side bend your head to the opposite side. Hold this position to target this area of the Scalenes. Like with the other stretches, you can use your hands to help yourself out, but be gentle.
In Summation Of Doing Scalene Stretches
Once again, none of the above stretches should be hurting you. If they are, you shouldn’t do them. Hold each of those stretches for 30 seconds and repeat them twice on each side. This will help to correct muscle tightness.
Here is the video I promised you about the Scalene muscles and how to stretch them. I will also give you a few more additional tips beneath the video.
Hopefully you enjoyed watching that video!
Besides stretching, other things you will want to do will be to improve your posture. This means not extending your head forward all the time to look at your laptop, or looking down constantly at your phone. Raise things such as your laptop and phone up to your eye level so you are not looking down on them constantly.
Finally, you will want to reduce stress you are having! Because we take more shallow breaths when we are stressed, this can lead to scalene muscle tightness over time. So find more relaxing activities to engage in and do what you can to bring down stress levels. Your body will thank you!