Good posture is vital for an attractive appearance as well as overall health. In fact, forward head and neck posture, also known as hyperkyphotic posture, can result in muscle strain, fatigue, arthritis, pinched nerves, back pain and headaches. Spending just a few minutes each day performing simple posture exercises can help reduce forward neck posture and soon have you looking and feeling your best.
Begin by standing with your body in proper alignment. Jeanne Markusic, a Cleveland Clinic physical therapist, says to stand correctly you should have your feet shoulder-width apart. Your thigh muscles should be elongated. Your knees should not be locked. Your tailbone should be slightly tucked down so that you do not have an arched back, but you should have a little hollow to the lower back. You should lift the breastbone at the same time you allow your shoulder blades to move down in back. Make sure your chin is level. The highest point of your body should be the top back area on your head. Relax the neck and jaw muscles.
Next, with your arms hanging along side your body, roll your shoulders back and down, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Your hands should rotate outward. Move your chin straight back toward your neck, but do not bend the head forward. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. It's helpful to do this exercise two to three times throughout the day.
The doorway exercise involves standing in a doorway with elbows bent and your hands and arms against the door frame. Then allow yourself to fall forward into the door frame for one minute, supporting yourself with your hands and arms still positioned on the door frame. Relax and repeat. This exercise is especially beneficial in stretching the fascia (fibrous tissue layers) component, writes chiropractor Warren Hammer, M.S., D.C., of the Dynamic Chiropractic website.
The chin glide is a simple but effective exercise for improved neck and head posture. To perform this exercise, stand up straight. Slowly glide your chin back approximately 1/2 to 1 inch, until you feel mild tension. Do not allow your chin to tilt. You may want to hold your finger against your chin initially and then move your chin back from your finger. Hold for five to 10 seconds, and repeat three to four times.
To do the backward resistance exercise, place your hands behind your head, fingers interlocked, elbows pointing out. Gently push your hands forward at the same time that you push your head backward in order to create resistance. Maintain your head in proper alignment while feeling the resistance of the hands. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.