Imagine that instead of sitting on your desk chair, you were required to wear the chair around your neck for a few hours a day. That sort of encumbrance would not only make it difficult to sip your coffee, it would likely cause you pain. Yet, when you gaze down at a smart phone or anything for a prolonged period of time, it’s akin to asking your neck to support 60 pounds of hanging weight. Compound that with the rounding of the shoulders that occurs when you sit at an office chair in front of a computer, and you have the makings for poor posture.
While using a standing desk or walking for a few minutes every hour can help mitigate issues, there are simple exercises you can do to strengthen and stretch your trapezius, rhomboids and other upper back muscles to rid yourself of tech related posture problems. The exercises below can be done at work without significant space needs or special equipment. Before you start, get a grip on using “internal resistance” (shoulder packing), which means tightening upper back/shoulder muscles without added weight.
Your Perfect Posture Workout to Deflect Tech-Neck
Seated or standing, lean forward from your hips, so your chest faces the ground. Lengthen your arms and take your palms together in front of you. Contract the area between your shoulder blades as you open the arms wide as if you have wings. Hold the contraction at the top of the movement for a few seconds before lowering your arms slowly. Repeat 15-30 reps.
You May Also Like: 4 Strength Training Benefits of Massage Therapy
Goal Post Arms
Stand tall or sit on the edge of your chair. Take your arms to shoulder height and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle into a “goalpost” position. Focus on sq
ueezing the bottom tips of your shoulder-blades together. Hold the contraction briefly before you release and repeat. 15-30 reps.
From the Goal Post position, straighten your arms into a V. Contract in-between the shoulder blades again but notice that the range of motion becomes smaller and more concentrated higher up between the shoulder blades. 15-30 reps.
Side-Tilt Neck Stretch
Sit up tall or stand. Take your hands next to your sides. Tip your right ear toward your right shoulder while pressing your left hand toward the ground. Hold a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Side-Turn Neck Stretch Series
Turn your head to the right. Drop your chin toward your right shoulder. Hold a few seconds. Repeat on the left. Return to center. Slowly let your chin drop to your chest. If you don’t have any serious issues in your cervical spine, slowly lift your head and look up at the ceiling while relaxing your jaw. Return to center.
- Place your fingertips on your lips.
- Pull your head back away from your fingertips.
- Keep your fingertips right where they started.
- There should be a big gap between your fingertips and lips.
- Then release your head to its natural alignment, which likely is a few inches back from where your fingers are floating.