The 5 Fold Fitness model touted by MissionFiT specifically encourages athletes to care for themselves physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. So, let’s
Start At The Top!
And what’s at the top of your body? Your head. This is why it’s important to start at the top when you look at your overall health. Did you know that head posture can have detrimental effects on your health? Studies have shown there are direct correlations between forward head posture and headaches, breathing and, of course, muscle tension. Let’s learn a little more about forward head posture and how to fix it.
What Is Forward Head Posture?
Forward Head Posture (FHP), according to Medical News Today and the National Academy Of Sports Medicine (NASM) is holding the head out, in front of its natural position over the cervical spine.. If you are a MissionFiT athlete, then you’ve heard Coach K talk about “stacking” your body position. This means the shoulders are over the hips which are over the ankles. Well, when your head is in front of your shoulders, then your body position is no longer “stacked” and you risk injury as well as chronic pain, stiffness and, over time, a rounded back and shoulders. Why? The farther forward your head, the more it “weighs”.
Fixing Forward Head Posture
There are different exercises and stretches you can do to help reverse the effects of FHP. The folks at Precision Movement explain spinal movement and how FHP affects the spine. Dr. Erin Boynton describes FHP as overload on the cervical spine equals wear and tear on the cervical spine. In addition, Dr. Boynton and Eric Wong, founder of Precision Movement explain and demonstrate five exercises you can do to improve your posture. Watch this video to learn more. And check out the additional links to the studies mentioned by Dr. Boynton and the ROM Coach app.
- Request free PDF “cheat sheet” from Precision Movement
- Coach Wong adds this bit of advice not in the video:
“Once your joints are mobilized, tissues lengthened and correct muscles activated by doing the routine, you need to be AWARE of your posture throughout the day.
If you find you’re jutting your chin forward and slouching, first engage the correct muscles to straighten up then take a deep 360° breath and relax the superficial muscles, letting the deep muscles do their job.
The superficial muscles that will get tense include neck muscles like the SCM and upper traps and the long lumbar extensors – make sure these are all relaxed and this will go a long way to reprogramming your neuromuscular system.
But just being aware of your posture without first fixing the underlying issues (joint immobility, muscle weakness, poor patterns) won’t do a thing but frustrate you at your lack of progress.”