Run 1 mile
Rest 6 minutes
Rest 4 minutes
Rest 2 minutes
100 Double unders
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Postural Kyphosis – It’s not just for Grandma any more! – Anna Mattson
First, what is Postural Kyphosis? Postural Kyphosis is the rounding of the upper back due to the shortening/tightening of the chest muscles pulling your shoulders inward and forward combined with a weakening of the upper back muscles leading to a rounding of the upper back. In the past, this was only seen in elderly women but in recent years with the prevalence of desk-bound jobs and cell phones that now run our life, we are seeing it MUCH younger people, even some of us at the gym. The following article discusses some of the interesting points of this issue and how to help rid yourself of the posture issues. You can see the article in its entirety here
Do you slouch in your office chair at work? Are you starting to notice rounded shoulders with your neck protruding forward? Do you stand up at 5 P.M. and feel like your back resembles a question mark?
Slouching all day in an office chair forces your chest muscles to tighten, which pulls your spine forward and rotates your shoulders inward, while at the same time weakening the muscles of your upper back that aid in posture.
In other words, you start looking like a hunchback and may experience pain in your neck, lower back, and even arms and legs.
The good news is that Postural Kyphosis, the clinical term for this condition, is completely reversible. The 5 corrective exercises below can relieve chest tightness and strengthen your upper back muscles to help you look more like superman and less like a hunchback. Choose 3 of the 5 exercises (one must be a chest exercise) to complete a few times per week until your posture is improved. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to consult with your doctor. A guide by Built Lean:
Facing the corner of a wall, extend your right arm and put your hand against the side of the wall. Turn your body left and lean forward as you feel the stretch in your chest and shoulder. Be sure to keep your arm in line with the plane of your shoulder as you complete the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and complete on both sides for 3 sets.
Chest Compression With A Massage Ball
In addition to stretching, deep tissue massage using a tennis, or massage ball can help restore muscle flexibility in your chest.
Holding a massage ball with both hands, press the ball and slowly roll it around the side of your chest. As you move the ball around, apply steady pressure to areas of tightness to relieve tension. Massage for 30 seconds on each side of your chest and complete for 3 sets.
Prone Y Extension
The Prone Y Extension accomplishes a lot in one exercise: it rotates your shoulders outward, stretches your abdomen (which is normally flexed), stretches your chest, and strengthens your lower back extensor muscles, along with the upper back muscles associated with posture.
Lie flat on the floor with your legs shoulder width apart and your arms extended in a “Y” over your head. Lift your torso off the ground while simultaneously externally rotating your shoulders so that your palms are facing upwards. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then lower down. Repeat for 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
Be Conscious of Your Posture
To ensure long term changes, it is critical that you become more conscious of posture when standing and sitting. Needless to say, human beings are not designed to sit in an office all day. We are built to move. Getting out of your office chair to walk around several times throughout the day can go a long way.
Follow A Balanced Exercise Program
If you are doing a lot of bench press, curls, and crunches, in combination with slouching in a chair all day long, kyphosis can worsen. Be sure to stretch your chest muscles and incorporate leg and back exercises into your fitness routine. An effectively structured fitness program can help improve your posture, functional strength, and overall health and well-being. If you are not regularly exercising, I would put it as #1 on your To-Do list.
Use Proper Ergonomics At Work
The monitor should be placed at arm’s length directly in front of you at 15- 30 degrees below your line of sight. Your forearms should form a 90 degree angle as you type and your legs should form a 90 degree angle as you sit. Keep your shoulders back, chest out, head up and use a wrist pad placed directly behind the keyboard.
I am going to place a couple of challenges to you and you can choose to take them on or not:
CHALLENGE #1 – Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to check your posture every 30 minutes.
CHALLENGE #2 – Every time you are sitting at a red light, press the back of your head into the headrest for the duration of the light. This will loosen the muscles in your neck and upper back!