I always knew that slouching or bending your neck forward was bad for the muscles of your neck and back. I have pretty good experience with this from years of working all day on a computer. But I had no idea holding your head in front of your shoulders is actually harming your ability to breathe.
Try this experiment from the blog at MyFitnessPal:
Place your head in front of your shoulders, and take a deep breath through your nose. Now tuck your head gently back to where it’s balanced effortlessly on top of your shoulders, and try again. Did you feel that fuller breath? Breathing mechanics are optimal when the airway is straight and open. Better breath means you get more oxygen, more concentration and more peace of mind. This also means no leaning forward in spin class if you want to give it your all.
If that made you want to improve your posture, MyFitnessPal suggests this “head ramping” exercise:
- Take a seat with your spine tall.
- Tuck your chin so that your ears are straight above your shoulders.
- Inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale slowly out.
- Treat your neck as if it were made of something precious.
- Bring your head back so your ears are above your shoulders, with the least amount of effort necessary. Never force it.