We are all spending more time over our computers at work and at home. We do more on our computers now than we have in the past generation. As a result, we are all developing an upper quadrant muscle imbalance. We touch on stretches for this area in the flexibility section. Now let’s talk about the strengthening exercises for the neck and upper back area.
Deep Neck Flexors – simply tucking your chin down towards your throat while you are lying down on your back. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Deep and Superficial Flexors – “chin tuck and head lift”. This will really feel like you are working the front of your neck. You will likely start to shake a little as the muscles fatigue. Hold as long as you can without any neck pain. Goal: female over 1:20 secs, male over 2:30 secs. Make sure to rest between repetitions and do 2 – 3 reps.
Scapular Retractors – standing in an upright military ”attention” posture. Pull with locked arms against strong tubes in each hand from a forward position at about chest height to your hips. Your arms should do 10 repetitions in each of the following 3 planes of motion:
- 0 degrees off your trunk, straight forwards and backwards, thumbs point out
- 45 degrees off your trunk, thumbs point out
- 80 degrees off your trunk or just below shoulder height, thumbs point backwards for 5 reps, and forwards for 5 reps
Scapular retractors and extensors – “cobra” lying on your stomach, lift your head and tuck your chin in, then lift your upper back and stick your chest out, gently pull your shoulder blades down and in. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat it 10 times. If this exercise is too awkward for you, simply do the same movement in a sitting position.
Need help with fixing your posture and alleviating any pain associated to poor posture? Call us at Nose Creek Sport Physical Therapy, 403.295.8590, take care of any pain or injuries that may prevent you enjoying your favourite outdoor activities this summer.
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
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