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Contact Me:
Tripti Gyan MCSP HCPC Reg
Chartered and State Registered Physiotherapist
Nottingham YMCA Health and Fitness
4 Shakespeare Street
Nottingham
NG1 4FG (map)

Tel: 07866 464 385 (Within the UK)
Tel: +44 (0) 7866 464 385(Outside the UK)

Email: tripti@triptigyan.com

Five reasons to pay attention to your posture

People often think that fixing their posture is simply a matter of pulling their shoulders back and standing up straight. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Standing more upright for a few moments will do little to counter hours of sitting slumped over a desk or standing slouched.

sitting correctly

If you want better posture, your goal should be to train your body so that your brain and muscles always maintain a healthy and pain-free posture - even when you're not consciously thinking about it.

Strong, well-aligned muscles naturally hold the body in a proper, neutral posture. So when you're designing your next gym routine, keep in mind these five "healthy posture" tips:

  • Strengthen the muscles of the upper back by performing rowing motions in the gym
  • Stretch out the chest muscles by using a doorframe to provide resistance.
  • Train the core muscles using exercises such as the plank and swiss ball crunches whilst maintaining the pelvis in neutral alignment.
  • Include exercises that improve your balance. Good balance will allow you to move without having to looking at your feet. Constantly looking down can have negative effects on your posture.
  • Strengthen the neck muscles to help alleviate "forward head syndrome".

In my opinion, the most frequently ignored element of posture is #5 - strengthening both the anterior and posterior neck muscles to regain balance.

Forward Head Syndrome

A rounded posture is often accompanied with what we in the fitness world call a "forward head". This is where the person's head is in front of the rest of their body. Most of the time, a forward head is accompanied by a rounded upper back and it looks like you're leading your walking with your head instead of your legs.

For those with a rounded posture, merely strengthening the upper back muscles and not the neck will do little to address the problem. The human head weighs on average 4.5 kg (around 10 lbs), and the forward position of the head increases the strain on the muscles of the upper back and neck. Try these exercises to help with a rounded posture and forward head syndrome.

  • Head Hover - Lie on your stomach with your arms by your side and your forehead resting on the floor. Try to start with your head straight (not tilted to one side or the other). Imagine you're wearing a mask and the imaginary mask is between your face and the floor. To perform the exercise, lift your head off the floor and imagine you're pulling your face away from the mask. Keep your eyes looking down and the crown of your head reaching forward. Keep your chest, arms and lower body on the floor. Repeat 10 times to give the neck a thorough workout.
  • Robot Arms - Lie on your stomach with your forehead resting on a rolled up towel so that your mouth isn't covered and you have room to breathe. Bend your arms to a 90-degree angle and bring them up to shoulder height so your elbows make a horizontal line with your shoulders. Imagine there's a walnut in between your shoulder blades. This is your starting position. Lift your arms off of the ground. Initiate the lift from the muscles around your shoulder blades and crush the imaginary walnut. Repeat 10 times.


  • Once you've mastered the two exercises above, try one of these two variations.
  • Robot Arms and Head Hover combo - This exercise combines the head hover with the robot arm exercise. Start on your stomach and perform the head hover described in exercise one. Then, while holding your head up, perform one repetition of the robot arms. Lower your arms and head back to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
  • Head Hover with band - Make sure you've mastered the original before you try this version. You will need a theraband for this exercise. Lie on your stomach with your forehead resting on the floor and the theraband resting on the back of your head. Hold one end of the theraband in each hand, maintaining a comfortable resistance on the band without straining your neck. Start with your head straight, not tilted to one side or the other and imagine you are wearing a mask again. Now push the back of your head into the band, lifting your head off of the floor.

    Note - keep your eyes looking down and the crown of your head reaching forward. Keep your chest, arms and lower body on the floor to maintain focus on working the neck. Repeat 10 times.

If you are concerned that you may be suffering from symptoms because of your posture, or if you suffer from neck pain, contact TG Physiotherapy care on 07866 464 385 or request a call back using the form on our home page.