It’s official: we are living in a world of slouchers.
The increasing use of computers and mobile devices causes us to shift our head, neck, and shoulders downward for hours at a time, while sitting at a desk or even when we’re standing upright or walking.
It’s easy to curve into a bad postural position and not even realize you’re doing it until you stand up and feel the pain that results from doing so for long periods. But obtaining good posture is essential to your overall health, wellbeing, and productivity.
As a Charlotte chiropractor who adjusts patients week after week whose jobs require them to sit and use a computer, I can attest to the fact that “text neck” is becoming a sad reality. However, all hope is not lost! There are ways to practice and establish better posture over time. Here are five exercises you can do daily to help give your spine a healthy curve.
Crunches better your posture by strengthening your core muscles. To do a crunch correctly, lie down with your back flat against the floor and your knees bent. Place your hands lightly on the back of your head with your elbows spread wide, and using your core, lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor while “crunching” your abdomen.
#2: Wall angels
These are like snow angels, but you do them while standing straight up, feet hips-width apart, with your head and back against the wall. This exercise helps to strengthen your upper back, while forcing your head into proper alignment.
Another core strengthener, cat/cow is popular among yogis! It’s a great exercise to increase spine flexibility, stretch the neck and torso, relieve stress, and calm the mind.
Start out on all fours with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. (This is also called tabletop pose.) To move into cow pose, inhale as you drop your belly toward your mat, arching your back while looking up toward the ceiling and pushing your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. To move into cat pose, exhale as you round the spine toward the ceiling while drawing your bellybutton inward. Alternate between these two positions.
#4: Head Weighting
Head weighting helps to move your spine into proper alignment with your head and neck. This exercise is a practice employed in Maximized Living chiropractic offices (like Queen City Health Center!) We encourage our patients to wear their head weights once a day for anywhere from 2-20 minutes. Click here to purchase a head weighting system from our Maximized Living store.
Like cat/cow, cobra is another popular yoga pose that increases spine flexibility while strengthening and stretching the chest and shoulders. It also helps to open up the lungs, which is great for alleviating respiratory issues.
To move into this pose, begin by lying face down with your legs extended behind you and the tops of your feet resting on the floor. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and point your fingers forward while hugging your elbows into the side of your body. Pressing down through the tops of your feet and pubic bone, spread your toes, inhale, and gently lift your head and chest off the floor. Keeping your lower ribs on the floor, draw your shoulders back and down away from your ears and lift your heart. Begin straightening your arms to lift your chest while pressing the tops of your thighs down firmly. You can stay here in low cobra or deepen the stretch by straightening your arms, but only do so as much as your flexibility allows.