It is important for the stretchers sterum to not leave the table/floor when doing this stretch. Also if you’re lying on the floor to rotate your head away from the arm your stretching. As always no PNF stretch should ever be painful, so if you start to feel pain, stop and consult medical advise.
The sternocleidomastoid muscle, which is located in the neck and is responsible for flexion of your head and neck, mainly against gravity, and lateral flexion. This stretch is aimed to increase the rotation of the head and neck. The inferior section of the muscle attaches to both the sternum and clavicle but these two sections form one muscle attaching to the skull. When stretching, especially through your neck, it is important that it is pain free at all times. If the stretcher has suffered in any sort of neck injury is it especially important to be careful and not overwork the muscle.
To do this stretch the stretch must lie supine with their head rotated as far as possible to one side as an end of range starting position. The partner should cradle the stretcher's head with one hand and place their other hand just above the ear. The stretch should attempt to rotate their head, they are attempting to look at the ceiling, without lifting their head off the surface. The partner should provide matching resistance and encourage the stretcher to breath normally. After this the stretch should then relax and inhale deeply. Upon the exhale the stretcher should rotate their head further away from their body, deepening the stretch.
These stretches should help increase the flexibility through your upper body to provide a safer climbing environment along with correct ropes and harnesses. Obviously we could not include every stretch required for this sport instead this blog will aimed to cover the some of the 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.