With technology use increasing every year, those of us wanting to stay healthy and proactively help our bodies need simple and effective ways to combat the horrendous postures we assume while using our devices.
In this video I’m sharing my two favorite simple (and effective!) exercises for counteracting all the slouching and forward leaning we do.
Whether you’re hunched over a computer all day, devoted to your phone and prone to forward head posture or some combination thereof, these two exercises will help you active your back body and give your front body some relief.
The first exercise I demo in this video is a modified yoga pose called standing cactus. I’ve combined this yoga pose with an old gym exercise I learned years and years ago. Have you ever stood back against a wall and performed W’s and Y’s with your arms reallllllly slowly? We’re combining this highly effective posterior activation exercise known mostly to personal trainers, and doing it standing….in order to ALSO engage our deep core and glutes.
This first exercise is definitely the harder one, even though it’s really simple. If you do it with precise form you might just get really sore from only a few reps (I got SUPER sore filming this for you all believe it or not!)
The second exercise is a superman, done lying facedown on the floor or on a mat. All you’re doing here is lifting your head, neck, arms and legs off the floor and holding for a second, before setting it all back down. Repeat.
How to get the MOST out of this short sequence:
- Starting Standing Cactus: first root your feet on the ground, screw your knees outward (so they don’t collapse in, which activates your gluteus medius) and engage your deep core (low abs, aka pee muscles) and glutes to stabilize your pelvis. Do ALL of this BEFORE starting to move your arms. It should take 2-3 seconds once you’ve got it down.
- During Standing Cactus: move your arms really, really, really S L O W L Y, while squeezing your mid back muscles very tightly. If you notice your back muscles going limp just re-engage and keep going. This should FEEL HARD, but not like an aggressive workout.
- Do 5-10 reps (how many depends on your fitness level, tightness level, and your ability to execute this one well – fewer reps done well is better than more reps fast and sloppy).
- Starting Supermans: lie facedown on your stomach on a comfortable surface. get your arms ready to lift by bringing them overhead.
- During Supermans: SLOWLY and with straight arms, lift your hands, head and feet FIRST. Your upper arms, chest and knees might come off the floor, but should be AFTER. You want to intentionally engage the entire posterior chain here, from your upper cervical muscles to your mid back, low back, glutes and hamstrings.
- Do 5-10 reps. Again, how many you do here depends on your physical strength, restriction patterns and whether or not you’re doing this correctly.
REMEMBER: fast movement hides dysfunction or improper muscle activation, while slow movement reveals dysfunction and helps you isolate muscles for proper engagement.
Give this a try and share how you feel after by commenting below! I’d love to know if this becomes a new favorite for you too.
Ok, I’m gonna go do some reps right now, because my body needs this as much as anyone!