Forward head posture is a very common imbalance seen today. Correction of forward head posture takes awareness, resolution of underlying causes, and repetition to make a lasting impact. These five tips will help you get faster results.
1. Focus on lifting your chest, not just tucking your head back.
In most cases, forward head posture is accompanied by rounded shoulders and a slouched upper back posture. In this scenario, simply retracting your head will not correct the problem. In fact, this can cause a jamming of the lower cervical vertebra. A simple instruction to help you lift you chest is to imagine you have a helium balloon attached to each of your chest muscles, and they are lifting them toward the ceiling. Many times, just lifting the chest causes a natural retraction of forward head posture.
2. Perform “chin retractions”.
A great way to re-program yourself to get rid of forward head posture is to perform 10 chin retractions every hour on the hour throughout the day. If you do this throughout an 8 hour workday, along with lifting your chest, you will have done 80 postural corrections! This will help you re-pattern your posture easily and effectively.
3. Ensure you have proper ergonomics in your car, at work, and at home.
Make sure your computer height is optimal at work and home. Another great trick to do in your car is to move your rear view mirror just an inch higher. This will remind you to sit straight while driving.
4. Eliminate food allergies.
Food allergies, particularly to gluten, soy, and dairy, can cause your nasal passages to clog, and make it more challenging to breathe. Forward head posture is very common to individuals that mouth breathe. Think about it, what do they teach during CPR to help someone open their airway? Tip the head back. In a standing position, this is done by extending the cervical spine, which inevitably leads to forward head posture.
5. Stop doing endless amounts of crunches.
Excessive amounts of abdominal training, particularly crunches, can cause an adaptive shortening of the abdominal muscles, which then pulls down on the upper body, leading to forward head posture. This can easily be corrected by performing an appropriate amount of exercise for the muscles that lift the chest and shoulders back and down.