Deep Mobility Tip: Posture pt. 2
Last week we talked about why posture is important, and especially when it comes to health of the shoulder. Having bad posture will not only affect your workout but also your livelihood. This week we will finish our talk on posture by following up the body, the neck.
This is much easier to see when watching others, but that doesn’t change the fact that almost all of us suffer from this at some point. I believe that neck health is of utmost importance, why? Because it holds the head and the top of the spinal cord. Neglecting neck alignment is like having a car with a flat tire, it technically still drives but at extremely low efficiency. We text, type, write, read and relax in a neck forward position For the most part people know what is right and wrong when it comes to posture, but for the most part people just don’t think about it or they just resort to what is most comfortable. Just like with the shoulders, we need to consistently be evaluating our neck position to ensure it stays healthy. So what do we do about it?
The easiest solution is keep your head upright when you are typing, texting, reading, etc. Just think about keeping your cervical spine (neck) straight up, not out. Our neck is comprised of many muscles that all attach to various areas of the head. The implications of their insertion being on the head are that it can lead to some gnarly headaches, as well as compromised moving (poor overhead positions, squats become more dangerous, deadlifts become much weaker, etc.) . One of the most common culprit when it comes to headaches is that the muscles attached to the posterior portion of your head are very tight. The average head is 10 pounds and when you drop your neck forward and either look up or look down, the posterior neck muscles are either being flexed or stretched in a chronic state to hold your head up, which is not a good thing when it comes to preventing headaches. Massaging these tight spots can often time relieve headaches and do it rather quickly. This would be a great thing to do at work or at home when you are suffering from a headache. As shown in the picture, press diagonally on the muscles that are circled. So if you are starting with the right side of the neck, than press diagonally towards the left forehead, and vice versa. You want to try to fight against this neck forward position with performing the opposite motion to strengthen the posterior neck muscles and to create muscle memory. Go through overly extending your neck forward and then bring your neck back as far as you can (Make a double chin). Perform that 10 for reps every hour, for a total of about 4 minutes of your day.
There seems to be a common misconception among people that in order to fix a problem you need to spend your full hour of exercise doing drills and exercises, when in reality it can be much easier. Performing 10 reps of this neck exercise of every that you are awake will probably add up to a160 reps throughout the day, if you do this every day for a week that totals up to 1,120 reps in a week. Once this becomes a routine for you, it also starts to become muscle memory and you are one step closer to eliminating the problem and achieving optimal posture without even having to put gym clothes on! Remember, it is more important to take care of your body than it is to look “cool” for people that don’t really even know you nor care about your well being.