Which would you rather hang from: your neck for a couple of hours a day, a melon, or a leather armchair? Neither? Good answer. Posed another way, what weighs 12 pounds, yet puts 60 pounds of relative weight on your neck and back while you look at your phone or tablet screen? Your head! That’s a problem according to Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, MD. Hansraj, of New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation. Simply doing some “Tech Neck” Exercises could help fix this problem.
Fix Your Posture With These Simple “Tech Neck” Exercises
Technologies change quickly. People’s minds quickly wrap around how to use the newest cell phones and tablets. Thumbs that have never swiped left or right learn to navigate screens like nimble digits. With these changes come new habits, some that can cause chronic pain. “Tech Neck” is one of these. Tech Neck manifests as rounded shoulders and a forward jutting head. Habitual poor alignment in the upper back can lead to neck pain and damaged joints and tissue. It can also affect breathing, lung capacity, mood and more. Your posture, just like your device, occasionally needs a reset. Fortunately, you don’t need to wait for tech support for help. When you finish reading this, look up!
Get to the gym and fix your posture with three Tech Neck exercises designed to strengthen the traps in the upper back, expand the pecs in the chest and help you find neutral posture:
1) Reverse Fly
Zone in on the traps in the upper back with this exercise. Start without weights. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hinge at the hips to bend forward. Straighten your arms and take your palms together in front of you. Using the muscles in your upper back, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your arms rise out to your sides, then return to the start position. Once you’ve mastered the form, grab a set of hand weights and try the motion. (3 sets of 12 reps)
2) Prone Dry-Land Breaststroke
Work on the neck, shoulder, chest and back range of motion with this movement. Lay face-down on the floor, resting your head on your hands. Tighten your abs to brace your core. As you straighten your arms in front of you, like you’re swimming breaststroke, lift your chest off of the floor. Keep your palms on the ground and sweep them up, around and down to your sides allowing your upper body to rise higher from the ground. Return to start. (3 sets of 12 reps)
3) Three-Point Wall Sit
Discover what “neutral position” feels like and train your body to find it automatically. Find a space against a wall and sit your tushie down. Scooch back so the back of your head is against the wall. Your legs can be straight in front of you, crossed or however is comfortable. Sit tall. Keep your head against the wall and try to get your tailbone and shoulder blades to make contact with the wall. Reach your arms overhead, palms together. Bend your elbows, let them touch the wall as you sweep your arms down and around. (12 reps)