Begin by facing forward, then turn head slowly to look over one shoulder, then turn back to face forward and turn your head slowly to look over your other shoulder. Do not turn past your point of comfort. Hold each over the shoulder look for 3 to 20 seconds.
Slowly tilt your head toward one shoulder as if you were going to rest your ear on your shoulder, then return to facing forward and repeat for other side. Hold side tilts for 3 to 20 seconds.
Bend head forward as if you were going to rest your chin on your sternum. Hold for 1 to 15 seconds. Return to facing forward and then bend your head backward. Hold for 1 to 15 seconds. Return to facing forward. Now, using light pressure from your fingertips at forehead, resist bending head forward. Hold/resist for 3 to 20 seconds. Switch to using light pressure from fingertips at back of head, resist bending head backward. Hold/resist for 3 to 20 seconds.
When you first do these you may hear some crackling. Most programmers have a very tight and crunchy occipitofrontalis muscle (among others). This should decrease with regular movement. If it does not decrease you may be developing arthritis in that area (goes for all areas of the body by the way). In which case you would want to consider some more specific exercise and diet modifications as well as consulting with a physician.
If you are not sure what light pressure feels like rest a nickle on the inside of your wrist. Then rest a quarter in the same spot. Light pressure ranges from nickle to quarter.
If you have frequent headaches or sharp pains this next set of movements may become your favorite.
Gently grasp the right side of your head while reaching behind back with your other hand. Tilt head away (or towards the elbow of the hand on your head) until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 3 to 15 seconds. Repeat with your other side. You can do these without placing the opposite hand behind your back but you will not derive full benefit. It will help, just not as much.
Next, grasp your left arm above your wrist and pull it down across your body (to your right side) while gently tilting head in the same direction as you pull. Hold for 3 to 15 seconds. Repeat with your other side.
Place left hand on your left side shoulder blade. With your right hand, gently stretch head down and away towards your right. Hold for 3 to 15 seconds. Repeat with your other side.
Remember all the neck movements can be completed while sitting, standing or walking. You should see Mr. Code Monkey making his way to the kitchen for more coffee.
- Neck Support – Complete Package
- Neck Support – 4 Up Exercise Illustrations
- Neck Support – 12 Up Exercise Illustrations
- Neck Support – Action Tracking Chart
(The Complete Guide is also available on GitHub)