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Neck PainPostureStretching

My TWO Favorite Exercises to Counteract Tech-Neck, Forward Head Posture + Mid Back Pain

By January 6, 2020 3 Comments


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! 

XO

Elisha

3 Comments

  • This weeks video reminded me of something I learned years ago.
    I was operating Crane all day long and developed posterior body issues, not just in the muscles and fascia, but in my early 30’s had suddenly developed hemorrhoids.
    I learned that hemorrhoids are simply varicose veins surrounding the anus and they can be cured completely with several easy exercises.
    Even very severe hemorrhoids can be dealt with in 2-3 weeks by daily exercise to move the blood in the veins of the anus, because that area does not receive movement as with the rest of the body unless walking daily.
    However, once hemorrhoids develop, walking alone will not fix the problem, yet two simple exercises performed religiously 2-3 times daily will fix the issue.
    Exercise #1) stand comfortably straight next to a wall or chair for balance. Cross one leg over the other so both your feet rest on the ground. Standing straight, tighten the glute muscles and hold for 2-3 seconds. Relax.
    Only do 10 repetitions to start because those inner muscles seldom receive movement in such a way as this exercise and are weak if you have already developed hemorrhoids.
    Adjust your body to do the other leg in the same manner. Cross your leg so both feet rest on the floor, tighten the glute muscles, hold for a count of 2-3 seconds and relax. Do 10 repetitions on that leg as well.
    Exercise #2) lay flat on your back on the floor. Bend your legs and put your feet at approximately shoulder width.
    Tighten your glute muscles and lift your pelvis toward the ceiling. Keep the glute muscles tight as you lower your buttocks back to the ground
    Relax for a few seconds before repeating.
    Do 10-15 repetitions.
    Note: performing both these exercises morning and night will cause a noticeable increase to blood flow and awaken muscles much more than expected due to lack of use but will eliminate hemorrhoids within 2-3 weeks.
    These exercises came from “Knocking at the Gate of Life” a wonderful book of healing of health ailments which I recommend to all.

  • Kate Murphy says:

    Hi Elisha! Loved your video on this! Unfortunately, I have a lower back strain injury that happened at work, and I’m currently doing PT so I can get healthy and get back to work.
    You stated your concern for acute back issues in regard to the cactus 🌵 exercises. Is the same true for the Superman exercises?
    I appreciate all you do! Thank you!
    Kate

  • jackie says:

    Good morning
    I love the music
    May I have the name of the song thanks
    Thanks for the video

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