Jill was recently on oprah.com’s OWN Show to demonstrate a stretch for the platysma and scalenes, muscles on the front of the neck that get short and tight from too much “head forward” position. Here’s that same neck stiffness relief stretch which we affectionately call the “Marlon Brando” for you to try right now! And for more neck muscle exercises, check out the Quick Fix for Neck videos.

Check out our solutions for neck pain

Read more about saving your scalenes

Watch the QuickFix Neck video

 

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

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Megan

This is great! I can’t wait to share it with my dad as he really suffers from neck pain.

Jenna Mitchell

Thank you, that stretch feel so good. I am definitely going to use this in class.

Jenna

Is this appropriate for those with TMJ dysfunction?

Jasmine Ellemo

Wow that felt great. The underbite really did make me feel like Marlon Brando. You work is so innnovative and complete, I am so lucky to be able to learn form your teaching!

Mona Laflamme

Thanks Jill, I’ve often had this tension in my scalènes, I Will be more aware of my head posture and know how to strech my scalènes when tight!

Regina

i just tried this one. Normally I would say I shocked but after all the Yoga tune up stuff I have been doing at level 1 training. I am not but this neck release does help. I am going to give this stretch to my daughter.

Ann

After trying this move I could feel it pull not only into my platysma but it was a great stretch for my scalenes fascia! I do so much forward flexion in a day, it will be nice to have a pose that can reverse some of that.

Wendi Jack

I love this stretch! The front of my neck is often abandoned while receiving a massage. This technique / self massage addresses anterior scalene for some needed relief from car accident years ago! And this is much more forgiving than using the therapy balls in a pin, spin, mobilize fashion! And I think it helps prevent ‘turkey waddle’!!! Thank you!

laurie

That felt great! I didn’t know I had so much tightness in the front of my neck. I typically focus on the back. Thanks for sharing!

Marthe

I found it easier to place my thumb and walk it up and down behind the SCM. While that action took place I moved my head back and forth by moving nose towards shoulder, then ear towards shoulder. Alternating back and forth. As I had my head turned and tilted, I pressed my thumb against the scalenes and wiggled my thumb back and forth behind the ridge of the SCM. Placing my thumb on the scalenes and tilting the head into the thumb between my muscle and shoulder feels good as well . I like self-massage but if somebody does… Read more »

Elaine

This stretch not only help stretch my anterior neck muscles, it also helped me soften my jaw and chin. This stretch will be great for people who grind their teeth as well as bring attention to it. Love !

Robin

This is such a simple, yet very effective stretch. Thank you for sharing.

Riannon

This looks ridiculous, but feels amazing. This will be a great stretch to use with client and is a relatively unobtrusive way to get in to the sensitive tissues at the front of the neck. I love it!

Lisa Federico

I am a candidate for this surprising stretch! Also, several clients appreciate recognizing more awareness around this often uncomfortable but forgotten area to stretch and care for. Having just done it…I am immediately aware of creating better head position. Thank you Jill!

Keiko Johnson

Thank you for this hands-on approach to neck massage. I have been nervous about applying pressure to my throat using therapy balls. However, using my hands feels safer and is something I can do till I feel competent enough with the therapy balls to work through the trigger points that are certainly abundant around the neck and throat.

Keri

I can always count on Jill to help me access a part of the muscular system that I didn’t even knew existed. I recently realized that I have some hyperextension of my cervical spine due to scar tissue from a past surgery. I’ve been working hard on those posterior muscles that move the next but I wasn’t sure what how to get to those located in the soft area of our throats. Now I can, and you can bet I will because with all the tension coming from the back side my platysma and scalenes need the attention.

Alfredo Figueroa

This is great! I do a lot of ball work in my neck when I feel tensions. I used to do a pin and stretch version of this with the YTU ball. For some reason, I see to accumulate a lot of tensions in that area. I am happy to see that I’ll be able to address this even without the balls!

Geri Jannarone

This is soooooo for me. I experience headaches that are frequently caused by neck tension and pain. thank you Thank You THANK YOU!

Megan Wylde

Wow, I have completely underestimated platysma. it’s global shear! Wow! I usually have balls with me and will spin, pin and stretch, but if I happen to be without them, this is a great backup! No excuses anymore, neck is gonna be supple and mobile!

Sue Paterson

Incredible how much relief just one attempt at this stretch provides. I feel like my head really does lose weight after this; my scalenes often feel so tight. Amazing that I also felt it all the way down into the inferior scapular region… hmmm. Thanks for continuing to create common-sense relief for the ways we live poorly in our bodies.

April

I’m going to do this one regularly. As a massage therapist I hang my head forward regularly and after only trying it one I’m already feeling a difference.
Thank you!

Lisa Ricci

This stretch is very similar to a physio stretch I was given after a car accident earlier this year. My C1/C2 were fused together, and it seemed to keep that fusion from reforming between physio treatments. The movement I was told to do was MUCH more subtle, and it didn’t have the jaw movement. Now, a little ways further into recovery I think I’ll try this and see how it works. Thanks, Jill!

Christina Summerville

Thank you Jill for this great stretch for the anterior neck. There is a similar stretch I’ve been doing but it did not use the underbite…love it!

Gale Claire

Great. I have recently noticed that when practicing inversion prep I experience tightness in my neck. I thought the back of my neck (taught to care for the back if my neck but not the front) was the source of tension but have since realized it is actually the front of my neck. This stretch will be a great check in to see if I am clenching in my neck if I am over efforting.

Chloe Whitfield

I don’t think I’ll ‘forget about’t this stretch because of the name (Godfather joke!). I know I tend to push my head forward so my neck is stiff. Will be using this stretch after spending a long time on my phone or in front of my computer.

Karen Smereka

This felt amazing. I have recuring snap crakle pop in my neck from an old injury. I usually wake up with my neck being kind of grumpy. Moving my jaw as I turned and looked away was sensational in that it really pulled on my ear. The stretch in my ear was quite deep. It didn’t happen on the left – only the right side. After doing both sides of my neck, I had more ROM and less snap crackle pop.

Judith

I’ve been waiting for this stretch for the past 9 years! In 2006 I was afflicted with Bell’s Palsy paralizing the left side of my face. Most of the movement of the facial muscles have returned to about 90%, When practicing this exercise I can really feel the stretch all the way through the inner-ear, chin and neck. This is a breakthrough for me – I feel lots of healing happening !!

Cindy Thomas

How true, I have not come across any stretches for the front of the neck. Thanks for the secret stretch. Because the neck is a very sensitive area , I can see that using your own hands is more effective and safer than using the YTB’s. Thanks for the reminder and refresher of the platisma and the added Marlon Brandon technique. Unique and I tried it-easy and effective.

Melissa Harris

Thank you for these stretches. I have a lot of tension in my scalenes. I also have a massage client that these will be great for.

Kimberlee Ott

have never done that until now, feels amazing!! all my clients can sure use this!

Amelia

This stretch is so intense but it feels great. I love that you can do this quickly anywhere. 😀

Kim Cordova

Marlon brandow. Too funny. I don’t really feel it, maybe I’m doing it wrong?

Amy

Very cool!
Have implemented many neck stretches in the past — but none that effectively incorporated the jaw and the underbite like this!! So happy to have come across this post.

Thank you!

martina sturm

important reminder that it’s not just the back of our neck muscles that are tight. I have stretched the front of my neck but not with the underbite action. Something new I learned today.

Beth

I never think of the front of the neck except the double chin factor. I’m surprised at the tension I have. It also feels good to gradually work my hands down towards my sternum while stretching in these same ways,

Jake

Ouch, my stylomandibular ligament!

Kristin

Tension tension tension! Thank goodness I have brought attention to this area. I try to be aware but know that I am a head thruster. I just tried this and could feel the difference immediately. I think these muscles are a little overlooked to the Trapezius and SCM.

Chrissy

Wow, I did not know that the front of my neck was holding just as much tension. I appreciate that the stretch is so accessible and you can do it anywhere 🙂

Sandy Gross

Ooh, this one is a favorite of mine, after seeing you teach it on the Oprah network. It also helps me mobilize stiff, mild scar tissue or “accident tension memory” around my collarbone on the left, where a car seat belt did a great job of holding me back during a mild-moderate rear-ender car accident, but yanked on my collarbone, none the less, straining my tendons there. I also feel it mobilizing around my ear on each side and throughout all the muscles connected to my temporomandibular joint. This exercise is also super great because it can be done anywhere,… Read more »

Michelle S.

I feel like this is one of those areas you don’t know is tense until you do the stretch. Perhaps work your sternocleidomastoid muscle into the stretch as well for even greater relief.

Abigail Stevenson

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I clicked this pose on the blog but boy am I glad. No wonder why Oprah loves it! This pose just gave me such a great relief on the right side of my neck after this past week of sleeping on my couch while family is visiting. I felt a little discomfort at first but afterwards I felt great. Thanks, Jill!

Abigail Stevenson

This pose just gave me unbelievable relief in my neck! I felt a little discomfort at first but I feel great now. I’ve been sleeping on the couch while I have had family visiting for the past week and this pose did the trick in loosening up all of the tightness I had on the right side of my neck. Thank you!!

Christine Heroux

I’m pretty good about remembering to self massage my SCM but never think to stretch out my platysma and scalenes. Thanks for the reminder!!

carol

Looking forward to a 16 hour straight shot to south carolina in two weeks–hope the truck drivers don’t laugh at me, but this is one I can do in the car! Will add it to my short list of car exercises (maybe combined with lion? I’ll really have them guessing what’s going on in that volvo!)

Cathy Favelle

This post came at the perfect time Jill, After sleeping on shall we say “less than comfy” hotel beds and driving, driving, driving during our recent travels, both my husband and I were feeling tight, stiff and restricted in our neck and shoulders, We needed a few good tricks that we could do in the car and this was one of my husbands favorites…he loved the Marlin Brando reference! Thanks Jill!!

Jackie Carey

I usually start each class with a question, “Any requests today? What needs work?” And usually someone says, “Neck and Shoulders” especially my corporate privates. This video, indeed, demonstrates the stretch no one is doing. I will add it to my arsenal this week. Thank you for your valuable work.

Sandy Ahlensdorf

What a fabulous stretch! Talk about blind spot locator; after a very long and active day, I had no idea my neck muscles were so tight. After this stretch my anterior scalene and platysma feel much more relaxed and my neck feels more free. Thank you!

Cathy Favelle

Love this stretch Jill and my husband really liked the reference to Marlin Brando. It was a perfect release for our stiff necks and shoulders this morning for both my husband and myself as we’ve been traveling and sleeping in less than comfy beds!

Michelle Artman

WOW, this was the first time that I ever even thought about stretching my neck. Let alone in this way. I must say that it felt really good and one that I will remember.

Chantal

I often feel tension in the front of my neck and never really new how to stretch it. I will definitely be doing the Marlon Brando stretch on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing!