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Neck and Shoulders Stretch Guide for Equestrians

The stretches below will help lengthen the muscles and joints around the neck.
The purpose of this is to improve mobility, range of motion and alignment.

What's Inside?

👆Neck Flexion (Forward Bending)

  • Gradually lower the chin toward the chest and look downward while only moving the head
  • Once the head has been flexed forward as far as it can comfortably go, hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning to neutral position.

👆Seated Clasped Neck Stretch 

  • Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair, making sure your body is in proper alignment
  • Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head
  • Gently press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest

👆Lateral Neck Flexion (Bending Side To Side) 

  • Slowly bend the head to one side, such as by bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder
  • During this stretch, the shoulders and back remain still while the neck flexes laterally to the side
  • Once the head has flexed as far as it can comfortably go to the side, try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head to neutral position
  • This stretch is then repeated in the opposite direction

👆Lateral Neck Flexion Looking Up (Bending Side To Side) 

  • Slowly bend the head to one side, such as by bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder
  • During this stretch look upwards to one side
  • Once the head has flexed as far as it can comfortably go to the side, try to hold the stretch for 5 seconds before returning the head to neutral position
  • This stretch is then repeated in the opposite direction

👆Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend 

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip distance with your toes facing forward
  • Interlace your hands behind your back and open your chest
  • Engage your leg muscles and keep a slight bend in your knees
  • Hinge at the hips to fold forward, bringing your arms up
  • Allow your head to hang down

👆Upper Trapezius Stretch 

  • Start standing or sitting tall and place one hand on your mid to lower back
  • The other hand on the opposite side of your head
  • Pull your head toward your shoulder, looking straight ahead until you feel a stretch in your neck