Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward or turned slightly outwards, with arms by your sides. Stiffen your abdominal muscles (“brace”) to stabilize your spine, then depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) without arching your low back.
Slowly drop your chin toward your chest (neck flexion), think of making a ‘double-chin’ by pressing your chin directly into your neck. Hold for 15-30 seconds and return to starting positon.
Slowly bring the base of your skull toward your back (neck extension), brining your chip up toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep your shoulder relaxed, down and back. Hold for 5-10 seconds and return to starting position.
Perform a total of 2-4 repetitions.
Exercise Variations: (1)To increase the stretch during flexion, bring one hand behind your head and place your fingertips right above the base of the skull. Apply light pressure. (2) To increase the stretch during extension, bring one hand up to your forehead, placing only one or two fingers fingers on your forehead to apply a light pressure.
Move into each position slow and controlled. Avoid any movement of the shoulders or shifting the head anterior and posterior.