Weekly Cup of Joe - Episode #9 - ''BACK'' to School: Strengthening Exercises
Read the transcript for this video:
Good morning and happy Wednesday! Welcome to another episode of your Weekly Cup of Joe. Thanks again for joining us for another episode. Last week we started on a three or four-part series of being back to school, talking about upper mid-back, neck-type issues that are related to a lot of school-aged children from elementary, all the way to college. But also affects parents alike and grandparents and aunts and uncles, and everybody in general from working posture, seated postures and everything else. So, this week we are going to talk a lot about, strength and exercises. We're going to show you a couple of strength and exercises that you can do that can, help basically alleviates and get those muscles in the back a little bit stronger and deeper in the neck; a little bit stronger to hold a much better posture. So, as we talked about before, a couple of different times is that with that posture, we start to sag, go forward; this head going forward so we want to be upright. And we want to start to think about lining our ears with our shoulders, with the mid of a trunk and our hips, whether we're sitting or standing. Now, you can't be in that position all day long, but that's what the goal is going to be, is to try to line yourself up to more frequently throughout the day. So, we want to show you a couple of strengths and exercises to help you do that.
Our real easy basic one is, and it's taking a band; tubing band, doesn't really matter, some sort of resistance. And you put it out in front of you. Shoulder width apart, chest height, and we just pull part horizontal abduction or pull parts. Go back as far as you can, slow and control. Gently squeezing the shoulder blades together, trying to go equal. Currently, I'm sitting on an exercise ball, you can sit on a ball, you can sit on a chair, you can stand, you can do it in multiple positions and so I wanted to show you that too. As that gets easier, you can use more resistance, you can do more reps, or you can challenge yourself. If you wanted to do it on the floor, you could do it on the floor. So once again, it's just chest height. Don't go too high over the head, you'll start shrugging your neck. Or you can challenge yourself even more. You happen to have a foam roller; you can lay down on a foam roller and do that; you could open yourself up a little farther. So, some varied positions that you can do a nice exercise in.
Then the next exercise we're going to do is what we call a chin tuck or a neck retraction. And that's to try to bring our head from this forward position back up. And so being in this forward head position, one is just we want to sit up, but we still might have our head forward like that, so we want to just be able to bring our head back. So you can stand up against a wall, you can sit with a headrest and the car works well, or a high back chair or you can just be in this position and you're going to gently pull your head backwards; your jaw, your head goes backwards. Keeping your chin and jaw at a nice level, the key to it is not to strain these outer neck muscles. We want to use some deeper inner neck muscles that are there to stabilize the neck, and they're there to help keep your head in the back position instead of being here, and these will get really tight and they'll pull on everything abnormally and you start causing headaches, jaw problems and everything else. So you can do it in the car, your kids can do it in the car on the way to school, at school if they don't mind that sort of thing. Kids might make fun of them, but if they have better posture and have fewer headaches and fewer problems, that's better too. So, two simple exercises that you can start to implement at home today that start helps strengthen and help correct posture, help support your posture and hopefully decrease some of those complaints.
As I mentioned last week as well, we are going to be hosting a Back-to-School Postural Emergency Workshop. It's the last week in August; Thursday, August 27th, at 7:00 PM. I'll have more information out this week about that regarding signing up online or calling the clinic. Always can call the clinic at (630)892-8003. And, you can register forward, find more information about it, but I'll be sending more information out via Facebook and over social media and on our webpage as well. So, next week, we will be looking at some stretching exercises for posture, so hopefully, you won't miss that. And please keep sending any other questions that you may have regarding health, wellness or PT-related so once we get done with this series of back to school, we can start answering some more of those questions. So thank you very much for attending this week. And, we look forward to next week for your Weekly Cup of Joe. Bye.