Hunchback posture is characterized by a protruding head, and a rounded upper back and shoulders. Think of a poor sitting posture.
The further your head travels forward, the more pressure the weight of your head puts on your spine. This can cause neck pain and other complications.
Furthermore, this position completely changes the mechanics of your spine and shoulder making routine movements difficult and possibly painful.
All of the muscles that pull you forward such as your chest, front shoulders, and upper traps become overly tense while the muscles that pull you upright, like your lower traps, rhomboids, and other upper back muscles become loose and weak.
This imbalance severely decreases the mobility of your upper body. It can cause shoulder pain and even lower back pain and can make it difficult to reach overhead or behind you.
In order to fix this posture, we need to inhibit the overactive muscles and activate the underactive ones.
Here are 4 exercises you can do daily that can relieve the issues caused by hunchback posture.
1. Thoracic spine foam rolling
Position a foam roller on your upper back, anywhere along the back of your rib cage. Use your hands to support your head and slowly roll back and forth. Do this for about 30 seconds.
Next, hold the roller in one place and extend your upper back over the roller. Don’t just reach back with your elbows or arch in your lower back. We want to isolate the extension in your upper back.
Alternate between extending and resetting your position. Repeat this in different locations on your back. I personally start low and work my way up.
Perform this for a total of 3-5 minutes.
2. Shoulder Dislocations
Grab a dowel, broomstick or bands as wide as you can and lock your elbows. Act like you’re trying to reach all the way around from your front to your back.
Do not bend your arms or protrude your head forward. Lock your body in place and have just the arms moving.
The closer together your hands are, the more difficult this exercise is. Start wide and as your mobility improves, bring your hands in.
Perform for 15-20 reps.
3. Scapular Wall Slides
Stand with your heels, butt, back, head, and elbows against a wall. Maintaining as much contact as you can, slowly reach your hands up overhead. The goal is to keep your elbows and hands as close to the wall as possible.
Avoid arching your lower back too much. Keep everything pressed against the wall.
If you need to make this easier, move your feet slightly forward and allow a very slight lower back arch.
Perform for 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
4. Prone Y’s
Using an incline bench ideally, lock your upper body in place. Think like you’re squeezing your shoulder blades back and down. Once in place, reach both arms up and out slightly at roughly 10 and 2 o’clock leading with your thumbs. Go as far as your range of motion allows but avoid arching your back in order to get more height.
Focus on keeping your shoulders retracted. Alternate between reaching, holding, and relaxing.
If you don’t have access to an incline bench, this can be done on the floor or on anything you can lean over to create that incline angle.
Perform for 3 sets of 10 reps.
That’s all. Use this routine to help improve your posture in less than 10 minutes a day. In addition to these exercises, you need to be more aware of your posture on a daily basis. I like to think there’s a string pulling me up from the top of my head.
To your good health,
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Regardless of whether you live in the GTA and can do in-person coaching with me or you live anywhere else in the world and can do online coaching, I can put a plan in place to help you get to where you need to be.