The scalene muscle is divided into three sections: anterior, middle and posterior. The brachial plexus and the subclavian artery pass between the anterior and middle scalene which can cause thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome and other painful conditions through the neck, shoulders and arms. The scalenes are responsible for lateral flexion of the cervical spin and elevation of the ribs during inspiration which assists greatly in breathing with easy.
To do this stretch the stretcher is supine with their head and neck rotated to one side as far as it will go. Make sure the stretcher keeps their nose pointed to the ceiling and pull the opposite shoulder away from their head, lengthening the scalene to their pain free end range. The partner places their hand just above the stretchers ear and their other hand on the stretchers shoulder to anchor it. The stretcher should then attempt to push against the partners hand, making sure they do not rotate their head whilst doing this. Also make sure the stretcher does not lift their shoulder. After this stretch the stretcher should relax and inhale deeply. On the exhale the stretcher should try to extend their neck further, once again making sure their nose is pointed to the ceiling.
Obviously we could not include every stretch required for this sport instead this blog will aimed to cover the main stretches used and maybe a few you may not have thought of previously. Please remember to follow the safe stretching tips we have given you in the previous blog as well as the individual safety tips for static and PNF stretching.
Images taken from "Upper Body Stretches" wall chart by B. Walker.