Kyphotic postural issues are one of the most common problems when it comes to proper posture in the sedentary working population. Is is commonly brought on through either weak posterior postural muscles such as our rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff muscles and/or overly tight pectorals muscles and lats. Often these irregular weaknesses are brought on through extended periods of time spent sitting at a desk, driving a car or just generally slouching throughout the day. The muscular imbalances lead to inward rolling shoulders and a forward extended head position which can cause strain on your upper back, neck and shoulder socket.
How to fix it?
If you know these symptoms can relate to you then don't stress, most of the time it can be easily corrected. Begin with regular chest stretches by placing your forearm against a door way, start rotating your body away from your fixed hand position until you feel the stretch. A secondary stretch is that lat stretch as shown in the photos below. You should hold your stretches for 30 seconds to a minute per side and repeat a few times per set. This should be done a few times throughout the day and can be performed if you find yourself standing around waiting or just with a few minutes to spare. Secondly we want to start strengthening those posterior aspects of your shoulders and upper back. Exercises like wall sliders are a great place to start. Start with your heels, hips and shoulders pressed against a wall. Raise your arms to a shoulder press position and squeeze your scapular together as you press your elbows and wrist into the wall. At this stage you should be striving to maintain contact with the wall from your ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows and wrists. From here focus on maintaining a fixed scapular position and begin to extend your arms up the wall until they are fully extended overhead. You may find you are unable to keep contact throughout this phase which is fine, with practice and repetitions it will come in time.
For more exercises to help improve posture and get you standing tall and proud like you should be, make sure to check out our classes at PICK !T UP group fitness.