This is something known as 'upper crossed syndrome'. Typically with upper crossed syndrome you will notice:
Forward head posture
Hyperextended cervical spine (Neck)
Excessive thoracic Kyphosis (Forward curve at thoracic spine)
Rotated & abducted shoulders
Scapular swinging (Shoulder blades pushing out laterally) There are many causes to this condition, but for the most part it's when you stay in this posture for long periods of time and your body adapts, common causes are:
Poor seated posture
Looking at your mobile phone/ laptop for extended periods
Certain jobs (e.g desk jobs)
Repetitive movement What happens is muscular imbalances occur. Every joint in the human body is surrounded by muscles that produce movement. When a muscle on one side of the joint get overactive/shortened, the muscle on the opposing side becomes underactive/lengthened, this is what's called a muscular imbalance. Your body is connected in what's called the kinetic chain, when one part of the kinetic chain is disrupted it will cause another part to compensate for that movement, which will then cause more imbalances and great postural deficits. Fixing your posture wont happen over night, but with a full proof corrective exercise strategy, it will certainly help you over time!
Reduce injury risk
Avoid altering movement patterns
Fix muscular imbalances
Increase muscle activation
Increase flexibility & mobility
Let's look at what's causing the postural changes
From here, we are going to inhibit (relax) & lengthen the overactive/shortened muscles. Then strengthen the underactive/lengthened muscles, then finally integrate the muscles into their functional movement patterns.
Now for the plan:
Step 1: Inhibit the Upper traps, Levator scapula & Pectoral muscles
Step 2: Lengthen the Upper traps, Levator scapula & Pectoral muscles
Step 3: Activate/ strengthen Cervical flexors, Rhomboids & Serratus anterior
Step 4: Integrate the muscles
Aim to do your corrective exercises before you workout, prepare your muscles & joints for the workout ahead!
If people like these blog posts, i will write more posts with other postural deficits, such as posture problems within the Lumber pelvic hip complex & the knees.
Don't forget to check the app out for free workouts, such as our 6 week muscle building program and 6 week fat loss programme, which both come with video exercise tutorials. Free to download & use.