The Best Posture Exercise

1 Feb
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The best postural exercise is a simple one – the Chin Tuck.

The chin tuck can be done anywhere, but it is best to do when others aren’t watching as it can be embarrassing. I often do this postural exercise while driving.

To do the chin tuck, pull your head backwards so that your head is on top of your shoulders. You should feel the muscles in the front of your neck working and you also may feel stretching along the back of your skull/upper neck.

Enjoy the pictures of me demonstrating this postural exercise – the chin tuck:

Examples of how not to do this exercise

Where is the best place to do these postural exercises?

The best time to do these exercises is when in a car. While in the car you can hold the head against the headrest. This allows you to use a guide to where vertical is and it allows you to work against something while building some endurance in the neck muscles. Also, your friends can’t see you and count your chins!

Are there harder ways to exercise these postural muscles?

A harder way to exercise these small postural muscles in your neck is a similar motion, except you are lying down.

Lie down on your back and hover your head just off the floor/bed. Hold this position as long as you can without shaking – start slowly and build up your times.

Often times patients comment on how they didn’t realize that their head was so heavy!

Do not lead with your chin, and do not look down towards your feet.

Chin Tuck while lying down can make the exercise more difficult

How do these postural exercises help?

These postural exercises help you build the coordination and endurance of the small postural muscles along the neck. These small postural muscles assist in keeping our head on top of your spine.

When your head is on top of your spine you are able to balance the pressure of gravity evenly along your spine. This makes it much easier to live and move around in our world. Unfortunately, if your head is in front of your spine and you begin to have forward head carriage, gravity can be very challenging for your spine and body.

You can start this exercise any time as it is very simple, however – the Benjamin Franklin Axiom “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very applicable to posture and the spine.

Check out our blog on Why does posture matter anyway? .

Are there other exercises that you Mississauga clinic suggests for posture?

Another postural exercise that our Mississauga patients often do is called a snow angel. You lay on the ground on your back and let gravity do work in your favour. Then you move your arms as if you were making a snow angel.

snow angel posture exercise
  1. First lie on the floor (carpeted floor is better) or a yoga mat will do. Your knees should be bent with your feet on the floor.
  2. Your arms should be along the side of your body, with your hands in contact with your thighs.
  3. From this starting position slide your arms along the floor as high as you can without experiencing pain (like making a snow angel). In this arm position relax your arms, upper back, and neck muscles and count to 20.
  4. After this, return your arms to the starting position by sliding them down on the floor the whole way.
  5. Repeat this 6 times. This exercise will be more effective if you can do it once or twice a day.
  6. a. Starting position b. Sliding arms upwards
  7. Important: Remember to do them slowly, don’t rush the movement and make sure your arms are in contact with the floor the whole time.

What about the core muscles?

The core muscles are an important part of the spine and posture.

I discuss the best ways to work on your core here.

Interestingly, the position of the skull with respect to the rest of the spine is the main factor relating to posture. Focus your attention there and the body will begin to naturally find a better posture.

How do these exercises help with a person’s Chiropractic care?

By improving and working on your posture you will greatly help your body to function better and heal. Often times I teach these postural exercises to patients having difficulty with neck pain, upper back pain, and headaches. I often teach these exercises to people who sit at a computer desk all day – from students to people working in an office.

Check out more on posture from Dr. Peever

The worst sleeping posture?

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