by Sean St. Onge
Let's face it, we are all in dire need of some postural resetting. Our world now is literally in the palms of our hands.
Of course I am speaking to how mostly everyone has a handheld mobile smart phone. We have access to everything, movies, music, social media, even the ability to check in on who's ringing your door bell from your office while at work.
There is no fighting this issue in the sense of trying to avoid it and tell you to stop.
I know you won't, neither will I.
So what is the answer?
In general we need to combat the issues with exercises to reverse the effects of our posture. Specifically, for instance, "forward head posture." This is often found in people that have standing work stations and poorly positioned screens for their computers. We are all adapting to the new age of technology that is hand held and it is causing our head positions to be looking down a lot. This is problematic for an already beaten up society that had bad posture to begin with.
Here are 3 drills that can help:
1. Reeves Trap Bar Deadlift
2. Double Bottoms Up Kettlebell Walk
3. TRX Y's with Sled Drag
Reeves Trap Bar Deadlift
This is a great drill that enforces proper "neutral" neck/head position as well as disallows cheating through shrugging one's shoulders and neck due to the demand of the grip position. The Reeves name is based on the originator of the drill, Steve Reeves who was a strongman in the late 1940's and 50's. He was also the father of the first major film Superman, Christopher Reeves. What Steve Reeves created was a difference on the grip of not the bar, yet the plates themselves to increase strength and size in the upper back and neck. The grip is the biggest factor of difficulty so aim small, miss small in reference to the weight on the bar. Do not feel you need to go very heavy on this one. Unless you are training for strongman competitors and grip strength is key, this is more of an assistance drill for those who need to practice incorporating the lower body to the upper body with as pristine form as possible.
Double Bottoms Up Kettlebell Walk
This is a challenging drill that forces core contraction as you walk forward while the weight is "balanced" with your elbows level with your shoulders. If the exerciser should manage to fall into similar posture as when reading a text or staring at a keyboard and monitor, the weights in front will drop gradually and the lifter will fail the drill. This forces proper head and neck posture. While walking backwards, this drill has double impact. As you walk backward your glutes are able to contract in conjunction with your core being engaged.
TRX Y's with Sled Drag
This is another drill that helps cement a good "neutral" head position while helping utilize your upper back to get your arms overhead. Getting your arms overhead without cheating or shrugging your shoulders and neck is very hard to do. Many of the muscles of our middle and upper back to neck are underutilized. While setting up similar to a TRX row, sit back into a squatted position with your arms straight and locked out. While trying to use solely the upper and middle back muscles, make a "ripping apart" like motion with your hands as if you were tearing up a newspaper. All while maintaining a tucked chin as you stand up extending your hips forward to a complete standing position with your arms overhead in a "Y" position. Go extremely light with the weight on the sled. The sled alone can be enough. Only increase weight if posture is on point.
For more videos on these drills follow me on Instagram under SeanStongeofthestongeage and give these drills a try!
SOAP BOX OUT!