Dec 26, 2012

I'm sure you've all seen people walking around with horrible posture. "Desk Job" posture is the most common I've seen. The tell-tale signs are shoulders rounded forward, chin jutting out, and what looks to be the start of a hunch back. What you may not know is that you could be well on your way to having the same issues, or you might already have them.


What Is "Desk Job" Posture?


Also classified as Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) or kyphosis, "desk job" posture is a series of short and tight muscles paired with long and weak muscles leaving you with a quasimodo-esque, hunched over look.

This is highlighted by overactive pectoralis minor, upper trapezius, and levator scapula, as well as weakened deep neck flexors, scapular stabilizers, and scapular retractors/depressors. That's a mouthful, so I'll break it down into easier to understand terminology.

  1. When your pecs become overly tight they pull the shoulders forward. This causes the muscles that pull your shoulder blades together in the back (retractors/depressors) to become lengthened and weakened. This is where that hunched look comes from.
  2. When the upper traps and levator scapula become overactive the head juts forward and the muscles which keep the head in an upright position (deep neck flexors) become lengthened and weak. This is what I call the turtle neck as the position of your head looks like a turtle's would if it was coming out of its shell.

These pairings of overactive and underactive musculature are usually caused by what we consider normal, every day activities such as playing video games, typing on the computer for extended periods of time, spending hours on Facebook, texting, hunching over while eating at a table, sitting on a bar stool, so on and so forth.


How To Fix It?


The following video has a few corrective stretches and exercises to help combat, and in the long run, repair, this posture issue. Feel free to incorporate these into your warmup, cool down, or on a separate day.


Here's a quick routine you can use on an off day solely for the purpose of fixing your posture:

1) Levator Scap Stretch 2x20s each side
2) Upper Trap Stretch 2x20s each side
3) Lat Stretch 2x20s each side
4) Band Shoulder Dislocations 1x15 (front to back is 1 repetition)
5) Doorway Pec Stretch 2x20s each side

6A) Band Face Pulls 2x10
6B) Band Shoulder Extension/Pulldown 2x10
6C) Band W-Press 2x5

7) Chin Tucks 3x10

*Band Pull Aparts and all of their variations should be staples in your program. I suggest hitting 50 repetitions during at least 2 training sessions per week, or hitting 100 repetitions per week at any time you can.

Try these stretches and exercises out and fix that crappy posture!!


In Strength,
Franco Crincoli

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Franco Crincoli
I am a personal trainer, strength coach, and all around iron addict, with a philosophy deeply rooted in old school methods. My training has been influenced by strongmen, powerlifters, Olympic lifters, gymnasts, and the Golden Era bodybuilders. I believe in reaping the greatest rewards the simplest (not easiest) way possible and having fun doing it.
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