Since the pandemic started, many people have been working from home. While doing so, they have been hunched over their computers all day causing postural issues. This is just one reason why you may have poor posture. Poor posture can cause pain in the neck and back which is one reason why correcting poor posture is important. Don’t worry, we are here to help. In this post, Mac Weiss, PT gives us his top 3 exercises to correct poor posture.
1. Chin Tucks
My first exercise for correcting poor posture is chin tucks. Chin tucks are a great way to bring your neck back into a more neutral (perhaps more beneficial) position for the spine. As our owner Todd Robbins mentions in another one of our Top 3 videos for neck pain; your spine is like the foundation of your house. If you don’t have a good foundation, the rest of the house may be “out of whack”. Chin tucks activate deep cervical (neck) flexor muscles that are crucial to your neck’s stability. With the amount of time spent looking down on our phones, sitting at our computers for work, or just simply working “in front of us all day”, this exercise can help us move in the opposite direction. This exercise helps put your neck in that more beneficial alignment which may decrease pain and also increase stability/strength at the neck.
I do want to stress that your best posture is your next one. The military sergeant that stands straight as an arrow for 8 hours likely has as much back pain as the computer programmer hunched over at a monitor all day. The important thing to remember about posture is that it’s often best to move regularly and avoid prolonged positioning. So, give the chin tucks a try for 10 repetitions for about 5 seconds each. Doing this multiple times daily will likely improve your cervical stability and bring you into more beneficial posture.
2. Prone I’s
The Prone “I” exercise is another one of my top 3 exercises for correcting poor posture. I often talk to my patients about how we “work in front” of us all day. Whether that activity is lifting, carrying, typing at a computer or sitting on the couch, we all do it. It’s natural! BUT, over time your anterior musculature at the neck, chest, and shoulders can become tight and even strong while the posterior muscles of your back can become stretched and potentially weak. This is where the prone I’s come in. By laying on your stomach, supporting your head and retracting or pulling back your upper back muscles, you can start training these crucial underutilized muscles that can help improve postural stability. Please take a look at the form I will be showing you in the video.
3. Thoracic extension over a chair or foam roller
Lastly, a common finding that I see in patients that complain about having poor posture is what’s called hypo-mobility in the thoracic spine. You have 12 thoracic vertebrae that start at the bottom of the neck and end where the lumbar vertebrae of the lower back begin. This area can easily become stiff if not regularly moved. An extreme example of this is an older adult in the supermarket that has a rounded upper back that may have a hard time lifting their head up as much as they used to. The term hypo meaning “decreased” or “below normal” and mobility meaning exactly what it says. If you feel as though your back is tight or that you do not often stretch your back in the way that I show you in this video, give this a try.
Making it a point to do all of these exercises a few times a week can truly help in correcting poor posture. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or reach out to us on our social media. Thank you for checking out our blog post post and video and I hope you learned something.
Remember… If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort during these exercises or have anything you want to get checked out, you can request a Free Physical Therapy Evaluation with us bellow.
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