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Posture Fixes for Lordosis (Sway Back), Kyphosis (Hunch Back), and Forward Head ("Tech Neck")

 

posture

 

All three posture issues usually occur due to too much time sitting at desks and driving/commuting.  Technology is wreaking havoc on our bodies and posture.  Sitting for long periods leads to weak and tight glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. The pelvis anteriorly tilts and this is called lordosis or sway back.  A held hunched over position leads to tight shoulders and chest and weak upper back muscles. This is rounding of the thoracic spine and termed kyphosis.  Finally, forward head posture is common with office workers and students. Some of the causes are excessive cell phone use and having your computer below eye level.  Neck flexor muscles get tight and extensor muscle get weak.  This forward head posture is appropriately named “tech neck”.

 

Lordosis AKA Sway Back (Anterior Pelvic Tilt)

Fixes


1. Strengthen and stretch glutes. 
Strengthen with squats, deadlifts, step-ups, hip thrusts/bridges.  Stretches:  cross body glute stretch, pigeon pose, and child’s pose.  See legs and glutes videos and stretch videos.


2. Strengthen and stretch hip flexors.
Strengthen with hip flexion exercise (band or cable). Stretches: quad/hip flexor stretch and kneeling hip flexor stretch.  See legs and glutes videos and stretch videos.


3. Strengthen and stretch hamstrings. 
Strengthen with lunges, lying leg curls (machine or band), seated leg curls, deadlifts, and bridges.  Stretch with lying towel (or band) hamstring stretch. See legs and glutes videos and stretch videos.


4. Other tips
Be sure to take side pictures every month or two to get feedback of the changes.   Ideal posture is achieved when shoulders are aligned over the hips (the hips are not behind). Massage or foam roll tight muscles (glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors) to help them relax.  Take a pilates class as it strongly empashizes strengthening the core and proper posture. Avoid sitting for long periods by talking walks or stretch breaks. Perform front planks with an emphasis on posteriorly tilting your pelvis ("locking in" the plank and tucking your butt down).

 

Kyphosis (Hunch Back)

Fixes


1. Strengthen upper back (rhomboids and lats) with rows, rows, and more rows. 
Increase the training frequency of back.  Perform more inverted rows, cable rows, and bent-over rows.  Focus on squeezing/pausing the end of the movement.  See back videos.


2. Also strengthen thoracic spinal extensors, trapezius, posterior deltoids, and external shoulder rotators.
Strengthen the upper spinal extensors with the Superman/Superwoman exercise. Another good exercise to spinal extensors is bird-dog. Strengthen trapezius with upward rows and shrugs. Strengthen posterior deltoids with reverse flies with bands, cables, or dumbbells and strength band pull aparts. Strengthen external rotators with scarecrows and face pulls. See back videos, and shoulders and rotator cuff videos.


3. Stretch chest, anterior deltoids, and abdominals.
Stretch chest with wall stretch, band stretch or bar behind back stretch, and angels (on wall or floor).  Stretch anterior deltoid with band behind the back stretch. Abdominals are stretched with over-the-ball stretch or cobra pose and cat/cow pose. See stretch videos.


4. Other tips
Be sure to take side pictures every month or two to get feedback of the changes. Ideal posture is achieved when shoulders are aligned over the hips (the shoulders are not in front).  Massage or foam roll tight muscles (glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors) to help them relax.  Take a pilates class as it strongly empashizes strengthening the core and proper posture. Avoid sitting for long periods by talking walks or stretch breaks.  Be aware of your posture when you are walking and retract your shoulders blades and keep your chest high.

 

 

Forward Head Posture (“Tech Neck”)


1. Strengthen neck extensors
Strengthen neck extensors with neck retractions and chin tucks with band and chin tuck holds against the wall. You can also do these exercises with bodyweight (using the weight of your head) by lying with your chest on a bench and raising your head up/retracting head.

 


2. Stretch neck flexors and chest.
Stretch neck flexors with upward head tilt and chin/head retractions.  Stretch trapezius and lateral neck flexors with side head tilts and head rotations.  Stretch chest and shoulders with wall angels and with arm dislocations using a band or broom handle. You can also perform a pec stretch over a stability ball. See stretch videos.


3. Other tips
Be sure to take side pictures every month or two to get feedback of the changes.  Ideal head posture is achieved when ears are right over shoulders. Massage or foam roll tight muscles (glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors) to help them relax.  Avoid sitting for long periods by talking walks or stretch breaks.  Make sure your computer is at eye level and not below. Limit cell phone use. When you are exercising be aware if you are "chicken heading" during your lifts - keep your neck in the neutral position..

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________

Personal Trainer in Toronto

Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A.(Kinesiology), P.T.S.

Phone: 416-912-9716

Email: eric@ptinto.com

Hours: M-F 6am-8pm, Sat+Sun 8am-12pm

 

 
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