Proper posture is one of those topics in fitness that is talked about a good bit. I, personally, have an ingrained set of cues I say with almost every exercise I teach:
- Knees Soft
- Belly Tight
- Shoulder Blades Pulled Back and Pressed Down
There is one cue that is missing, however...draw your head back to line up with your shoulders. A forward head posture (FHP) leads to increased strain on the spine and further protraction of the shoulder blades. Our head is meant to be stacked on top of our spine like a golf ball on a tee. When it moves forward, which is natural in our "anterior (or forward) facing world", the weight increases dramatically. Instead of our spine loaded with about 12 lbs, we see the strain increase upwards of 42 lbs! The more often your head moves into this position, the easier it is. Like anything you repeatedly do, you will get better and better. Unfortunately, this is a repetitive movement pattern that isn't serving you.
Here are some practical tips to practice re-aligning your head:
- Use the headrest in your car: It's there for a reason. Draw your head back occasionally to touch the back of your head to the headrest
- Sit up against a wall: Whether it's at home playing with your child, reading or in a wall sit (my favorite way to practice!), be sure the back of your head is gently touching the wall behind you.
- Move your computer: Place your monitor or laptop at eye level. When you have to look down to see the screen, your head will be pulled forward.
Get your head back in line with your spine! Your back will thank you with less pain and more energy...Keep it in line, lovelies!