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The Outdoor Athlete Book by Courtenay and Doug Schurman



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More Training Info > Alleviating Keyboard Stiffness

Alleviating Keyboard Stiffness

Q: I spend a lot of time at the computer; can you suggest any good stretches to do to alleviate keyboard stiffness?

A: Certainly! The following exercises are some we suggest to our clients who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. As with any static stretch, try to hold each for about 20-30 seconds without any bouncing or jarring. You may want to set your alarm to go off every hour or so to remind yourself to get up, move around, and stretch.

Trapezius Stretch: to stretch the muscles along the back and right side of your neck, gently stretch right arm behind your back and keep the right shoulder down as you take the left hand on top of the head and gently stretch the left ear down toward your shoulder. Hold 20-30 seconds. Then turn your head to look right and stretch head down at a 45 degree angle to deepen the stretch. Try doing this anytime you feel your neck getting tight or your shoulders hunching up and forward.


"Hug A Tree" Stretch -- for lats, lower back and shoulders. Great for climbers, desk workers, and others who carry a lot of stress in the upper neck and back. Find a sturdy vertical surface (here, squat rack, but a tree or coat rack might also do nicely) and grasp both hands around it, with feet about a foot away. Lean back until arms are straight, and allow head to relax between elbows. Those who are also tight in the hamstrings might feel a good stretch in the back of the legs.


Forearm Stretch: to stretch the muscles near your wrists and forearms, bring palms together with fingers pointed up toward ceiling and slowly slide them down until you feel a stretch in the inner wrist area (for some, this might be when forearms are aligned, parallel to the floor; others might be rather tight and not be able to keep heels of hands together.) Hold 20-30 seconds. Also a GREAT stretch for climbers when forearms get pumped.


Wrist / Fingers Stretch: to stretch the wrist and fingers, in the opposite direction of the forearm stretch (above) simply turn your hands over so knuckles face each other, or stand up at your desk and place your hands flat, knuckles down, and very gently straighten your arms to press them down into the desk.



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