Plenty of us are stuck looking down on the ground and our phones or computers. When this is your “normal” posture you will start having neck, shoulder and even back problems. Also the muscle on the back of your neck that holds your head up will atrophy and become weak.
We don’t spend enough time looking up and see things around us. This was essential during the primal stages where we needed to look up to look for food and predators.
Heres some basic exercises you can do to help strengthen your posterior chain to promote better posture and strengthen your neck.
1) Periscope (Tummy Time) 2) Sphinx
These two positions are the first steps of movement patterns we learn as an infant, which we lose as we get older.
1) Periscope (Tummy Time)
Lay on your belly with your arms on your side and chin on the floor. If you have an upper cross syndrome (Neck Pushed forward) put a mat or something to elevate you chest a little.
This will put you in the natural position you should be in.
In this position relax the entire body from toes to your head and breath deeply through your back.
After a few breaths pick your head up and look around. Once you start feeling fatigue relax and reset then repeat.
Do not go into fatigue.
This position will still be on your belly but you are now propped up with your elbows.
Elbows should be right under your shoulder blades with palms up. Chest and chin should be pointed up.
While in this position, perform deep breaths. Retract and depress the shoulder blades 4-5 times. The same way you did the Periscope look up and look around.
To challenge this position, place a few items in front of you or a partner and reach for those items. Make sure you are breathing and looking at where you are reaching at all times. When you’re starting to feel fatigue reset into periscope then repeat.
Client: “I feel a lot taller and less tired with my back. I also feel like I’m looking straight not down”
There are some muscles in your neck that prevent you from achieving a proper posture and reduce neck pain. You need to stretch these muscles to be able to revert back to the ideal posture. Without a proper neck position your cervical spine will be vulnerable and it will increase the risk of injury.
Think about it this way, if Mike Tyson was about to hit you do you want your head to be pushed forward for him to hit or is it better to have your chin to be tucked in and protected. Yes I know no one wants to by hit by Tyson. Check out the stretches from the link below and fix your neck.