Bad posture? Try the Prone Cobra
Posture is the position from which movement begins and ends.
Ideal posture, is that state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity, irrespective of the attitude in which these structures are working or resting. It is during a state of ideal posture that the muscles will function most efficiently.
The majority of people tend to have poor posture. This is a result of working in environments that are not ergonomically correct, performing repetitive tasks with poor form and an overall lack of awareness by most individuals on their posture.
In an ideal posture, you should be able to see a straight line between the ear lobe, shoulder girdle, knee and ankle joint (Figure 1). Poor posture not only looks bad aesthetically, it also compromises how we were designed to function, eventually leading to pain and/or injury. Poor posture is associated with many problems, such as back pain, poor balance , headaches, and breathing difficulties.
It is very important to stretch tight muscles prior to exercising. tonic muscles have a propensity for shortening and tightening, often becoming facilitated. Phasic muscles have a propensity for lengthening and weakening. If a muscle group becomes facilitated, it will try to take over the function of synergistic and antagonistic muscles, resulting in perpetuation of muscle imbalance and often overuse injury to the facilitated muscles.
To correct these cases of faulty alignment, the long weak muscles must be shortened and strengthened, while the short tight muscles must be stretched. The stretching should take place first, before stating an exercise program.
(Paul Chek, 2005)
The Prone Cobra
The Prone Cobra is an excellent exercise to strengthen postural muscles and correct forward head posture and thoracic kyphosis. To perform this corrective exercise, follow these steps:
1. Lie on a Swiss ball, or face down on a mat or comfortable surface and rest your arms at your side.
2. Lift your torso while simultaneously squeezing your shoulder blades together and externally rotating your arms. You should feel the muscles of the thoracic spine working, not those of the lumbar spine.
3. When you have reached the proper end position, your palms should face away from your body, your head and neck should be in neutral alignment and your toes touching the ground.
At Danny Johnson Personal Training and Rehabilitation, we start by reviewing and correcting your muscular-skeletal imbalances through careful assessment and adjustment. We then leverage this analysis to design bespoke personal training programmes focused around your specific condition and to consolidate and strengthen realignment adjustments to promote overall health and wellbeing.
Find out more about what we do, book your free consultation today!