135 Unique Stretching Exercises

Walker, Brad. Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility. 3rd ed. 2011. Print.

In this second half of the book there are 135 photographs of unique stretching exercises, each with an accompanying description explaining how the stretch is performed. These stretching exercises are not specific to any particular sport or any particular type of person. Of course all of them will not be relevant to everyone, but a great number of them will be suitable for most athletes, coaches, trainers and health care professionals.

If you find a particular stretch difficult to perform, start with the stretches that are more comfortable for you, and return to the more difficult stretches when your flexibility has improved.

An index is included on page 44 to assist in finding individual stretches, and each stretch has been arranged to correspond with a particular body part or major muscle group. For example, when looking for stretches for the shoulders, look to that particular heading. The stretches have been arranged so as to start with the neck and work down to the ankles and feet.

On the following two pages there are anatomical diagrams of the major muscles of the body, and at the beginning of each section there is a list of the individual muscles that the stretches target. By matching the list of individual muscles at the beginning of each section, with the anatomical diagrams on the next two pages, you can see exactly which muscles are being stretched during each stretching exercise.

For a more comprehensive explanation of the muscle anatomy involved during each of the stretching exercises, please refer to The Anatomy of Stretching at www.AnatomyOfStretching.com


Remember to always follow The Rules for Safe Stretching in chapter 5, and if you have any pre-existing injuries or ailments please consult a sports doctor or physical therapist before attempting any of the following stretches. Discontinue any exercise that causes pain or severe discomfort and consult a medical expert.

Stretches for the Neck and Shoulders

The neck and shoulders are comprised of a multitude of small muscles that control the head and upper arm. The muscles around the neck and shoulder, along with the structure of the joints, allow for a large range of motion of the head and upper arm; including flexion, extension, adduction, abduction and rotation.

The anatomical structures of the neck and shoulder joints are commonly over-stretched by applying too much force to the targeted muscle groups. Please take extra care when performing the following stretches and always follow The Rules for Safe Stretching in chapter 5.

Sports that benefit from these neck and shoulder stretches include: Archery; batting sports like Cricket, Baseball and Softball; Boxing; contact sports like Football, Gridiron and Rugby; Golf; racquet sports like Tennis, Badminton and Squash; Swimming; throwing sports like Cricket, Baseball and Field events; and Wrestling.

The major muscles being stretched.
Deltoid anterior, medius, posterior
Levator scapulae
Longissimus capitis
Longissimus cervicis
Scalenus anterior, medius,
Semispinalis capitis
Semispinalis cervicis
Serratus anterior
Spinalis capitis
Spinalis cervicis
Splenius capitis
Splenius cervicis
Teres major
Teres minor
Screenshot (18)
46 A01 – Lateral Neck Stretch: Look forward while keeping your head up. Slowly move your ear towards your shoulder while keeping your hands behind your back.