Stetching Series: Levator Scapulae


Levator Scapulae
Levator Scapulae

Levator Scapulae is one of those muscles that can be over worked and become hypertonic when posture or stress is an issue. Its function is to elevate the scapula which (along with trapezius) can become over active and create soreness and pain in the cervicothoracic junction. Obvious a great one to stretch for maintenance of neck and shoulder discomfort.

The key to stretching this muscle is involving the scapula’s ability to rotate  with shoulder movement. When the shoulder is raised, the scapula rotates and the superior angle moves inferiorly. This is conveniently where levator scapulae attaches to the scapula. By raising the arm over the head, we are depressing the scapula which allows for a deeper stretch of the muscle. Also, this move allows for us to put slack into trapezius by moving the acromion closer to the neck. This gives levator scapulae the ability to be singled out, and thus stretched effectively.

The Stretch

  • Using the arm on on the side being stretched, reach up and behind your neck in order to rotate and depress the scapulae.
  • Rotate the neck away from the side being stretched
  • Using your opposite arm, grasp the back of your head and flex the neck forward and look down. The stretch will be felt from the neck into the scapular region.

Note: The further you can reach the arm over and behind the neck, the deeper and more specific the stretch will be.

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2 Replies to “Stetching Series: Levator Scapulae”

  1. Still haven’t gotten over your departure. Missing your healing touch but happy they you’re settling in to your new life. Worried that this storm may be a problem but fingers crossed that you’ll be alright. BTW-Great stretching technique. I was able to release accumulated stress and feel the muscles relax.

    1. Hey John good to hear from you! Glad the stretches are helping. I’m sure I’ll be doing them after the hurricane passes to relieve some tension. 🙂

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