Upper Cross Syndrome

Working at a gym in Chicago’s Loop, I see this everyday.

Upper cross syndrome is typically characterized by rounded shoulders and an excessive forward head lean. It’s a postural imbalance that, in many cases, is the result of spending long periods of time sitting hunched over our computer desks. When in this position, many muscle imbalances are occurring:

Tight/Overactive Muscles: STRETCH
-Pectoralis major/minor
-Anterior deltoid
-Latissimus dorsi
-Upper trapezius
-Levator Scapulae
-Scalenes
-Subscapularis

Weak/Underactive Muscles: STRENGTHEN
-Rhomboids
-Lower trapezius
-Posterior deltoid
-Serratus anterior
-Teres minor
-Infraspinatus

Postural Dysfunctions lead to muscle imbalances, muscle imbalances lead to improper movement patterns, and improper movement patterns lead to injury SO with that being said, here are a few corrective exercises you can add into your routine to try to avoid this.

Foam Roller Angels- Lay supine on the foam roller with the foam roller vertical to your spine, lower back pressed against foam roller, and arms extended out (palms facing up) at sides. Keeping the back of your palms on the floor, raise your arms up overhead and back down to your sides (as if you were making snow angels). Be sure that your lower back stay pressed down against the foam roller!

Wall V’s- Sit against a wall with your butt, lower back, shoulders, and head pressed against the wall. Bring your arms overhead (elbows bent at a 90 degree angle) so that they are in contact with the wall as well. From here, extend them straight up overhead so that they form a V overhead. Be sure to keep your butt, lower back, shoulders, and head pressed against the wall!

Rear Delt Flys (machine): Sit facing upright so chest is against the pad and feet flat on the ground. Grab the handles, depress the shoulder blades down, and exhale as you pull back

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