Combat Text Neck with These Three Exercises

You text every single day.  You also find yourself sitting at a desk hammering away at projects for hours at a time.  What you might not be aware of is your body relaxing into comfortable yet compromised positions.  This rounded postural position has been coined Text Neck.  

Text Neck Syndrome  can wreak havoc on your cervical spine.  Poor posture can cause many problems.  Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent.  It has also been  linked to  headaches, depression and heart disease.

Text Neck Syndrome can wreak havoc on your cervical spine.  Poor posture can cause many problems.  Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent.  It has also been linked to headaches, depression and heart disease.

Being rounded over in this position for any period of time can be harmful to your posture.  You may recall a time you pushed back in a chair tacking, cracking and twisting your back to restore comfort.  In this compromised position, your chest and anterior deltoid (front of your shoulders) become tight and your shoulder blades and thoracic spine stretch into instability.  

Our bodies are designed to last 100 plus years.  When you lift weights or even carry yourself through the day in compromised positions, you shed years off of your joint's life.  Do you want hip and knee replacements in your future?  Probably not.

Below are some mobilization techniques developed by Kelly Starrett from his book "Becoming a Supple Leopard."  I have arranged them below to aid in combating the compromised position adopted by Text Neck.  I also added one strengthening exercise.

Mobilization Techniques

T-Spine Overhead Extension Smash - 5 minutes   Lay stomach up placing the foam roller in your mid back (or a stiff area of your upper back).  Reaching overhead with your palms facing each other, raise your hips to keep yourself in a straight line.  Keeping your core engaged, slowly lower your hips and force your hands down to the ground.  

T-Spine Overhead Extension Smash - 5 minutes

Lay stomach up placing the foam roller in your mid back (or a stiff area of your upper back).  Reaching overhead with your palms facing each other, raise your hips to keep yourself in a straight line.  Keeping your core engaged, slowly lower your hips and force your hands down to the ground.  

Banded Lateral Opener - 5 minutes (2 1/5 minutes each arm)   Feed your wrist into a band gripping it loosely.  Externally rotating your shoulder (making your palm face upward), open your shoulder and face away from the post.  Keeping your core engaged in an staggered stance, relax your shoulder and chest and let the band pull your shoulder back.

Banded Lateral Opener - 5 minutes (2 1/5 minutes each arm)

Feed your wrist into a band gripping it loosely.  Externally rotating your shoulder (making your palm face upward), open your shoulder and face away from the post.  Keeping your core engaged in an staggered stance, relax your shoulder and chest and let the band pull your shoulder back.

Face Pulls - 3 sets/12 reps   Grip the rope attachment with your palms facing down using the cable crossover machine.  Squeezing your upper back together, pull the rope to your face and slowly relax your arms to straighten them and repeat.

Face Pulls - 3 sets/12 reps

Grip the rope attachment with your palms facing down using the cable crossover machine.  Squeezing your upper back together, pull the rope to your face and slowly relax your arms to straighten them and repeat.

the little things that have a BIG impact

  • Keep your core engaged.  Flexing your abs and squeezing your butt will ensure that you don't overextend.  Often when you self monitor your posture, you actually throw yourself into overextension which is also a compromised position.
  • Use a Popsocket on your phone.  Popsockets allow you to hold your phone at eye level without having to balance it on your pinky finger.  This device allows you to use your phone with perfect posture.  Check out this video for more explanation.
  • Use both straps on your backpack.  

All it takes is 15 minutes a day.  This soft tissue work is a great routine to use as a cool down after your workout.  Post a picture or video of you doing one of these exercises.  Follow and tag @shanejenne on Instagram and use #FNS for your chance to win a custom FNS Popsocket.

Disclaimer:  This and all other blog posts from this website and simply suggestions.  The content of these blogs are not to be used as diagnostic tools and prescription.