With all great things, there is always an equal and opposite, and with improved technology and greater availability, we now have a new syndrome. The iHunch. Luckily for you, we know the best exercise to straighten your hunch out.
Just like Yin and Yang, most things follow Newton’s third law, where is always and equal and opposite force and now that we have such easy availability of technology, we can easily spend most of our days looking at screens. Whether this is laptops, desktops, tablets, phones or watches, we are forever looking down.
Most of our heads are around 6kg but as our shoulders hunch and our head protrudes forward, the load on our neck increases a huge amount as you can see in the picture here
Over time, our body adapts to this posture and our upper back stiffens and loses extension, our pecs tighten and pull the shoulders forward and the muscles in our upper neck cramp up. This then causes pain and can really put you in a bad mood.(1)
So here is how you can sort iHunch at home. Stretch out that hunch and maybe even make yourself taller!
1. Thoracic extension stretch
Stretch out you upper back over a Foam Roller or stretch ball. The foam roller can either be across your back or up your spine for a more gentle approach.
Hold the stretch for at least one minute and then move higher, making sure not to put the roller or ball under your low back or neck.
You can also wrap your arms around your chest and roll up and down to massage the muscles
2. Pec stretch
Using a doorway, place your forearm against the frame and gently lean forward. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds each side
3. Wall angels
This is one of the best exercises for improving postural strength as if fires up all of your shoulder and spine extensor muscles
Make sure your bum, upper back and head are touching the wall, as well as your knuckles and elbow to start (a). then slide your arms up and down as far as you can without your elbow or hand coming off the wall. You will feel a good burn between your shoulder blades.
Repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps
And that’s it. Mobilise the spine, stretch the pecs and strengthen your extensors and you will feel much better for it.
The only other thing you can do to help prevent iHunch is to stop looking down so much! Hold your phone up in front of you, get a stand-up desk and walk more.