Category Archives for "Featured"

These VerticAlign blog posts contain information about different exercises and stretches that can assist with posture and alignment.  These particular posts FEATURE Zeena Dhalla’s favorite blog entries. The exercises featured aim to help reduce back pain, neck pain, hip pain and knee pain. Each movement can be used to help build core strength, overcome an anterior pelvic tilt (arched back), posterior pelvic tilt (flat back) or kyphosis (hunchback) posture.  Each exercise has a detailed description to help the reader understand exactly how to do it properly.  Exact form is ideal for doing each of these movements. It’s important for the client to know exactly what to do, and how to do it.   It’s also important to know what ORDER to do these movements in. Clients can use these descriptions to do workouts at home. Exercising at home is a powerful way to help overcome pain and feel better. Daily movement to improve posture will make you look slimmer, taller and leaner.

3 years ago

The 5 Minute Solution to Hunchback Posture

 

It’s here: a simple 5 minute solution to solving that ugly and painful hunchback posture you might have noticed in the mirror. You know you don’t want to look like this guy:

BangkokThailand - October 30 2014: Quasimodo toy model character from Hunchback of Notre Dame american animated musical drama film.

It’s time to stop looking like a lazy slouch. It’s time to stop feeling all that neck pain.  And it’s time to stop being confused about what you can do to make it all better. The 5 minute solution will get you started on a specific exercise plan that you can easily do from your home  or office any time of the day.

Fixing hunchback posture, which is technically known as kyphosis, can be complicated.  I’ve broken it down into a few simple points and explained exactly why it’s necessary to do these particular moves, in this particular order.

  1. Stretch your lats.  The latisimus dorsi muscle connects the lower part of the spine to the arm (via under the armpit).  It’s a broad shaped large muscle on the sides of the spine.  It’s responsible for many actions of the arm (extension, adduction, horizontal abduction).  Most importantly, I want you to visualize it this way: if you’re in a hunchback (rounded) position, the distance from your spine to your armpit area shortens.  If you sit up tall and pull your shoulders back, it requires length in the muscle. Therefore if this muscle is tight, it will need to be stretched before you can optimally get upright.
  2. Stretch your chest. The pectoralis major muscle in a fan shaped muscle across your chest (under the breast for women).  This one is easy to visualize… if your shoulders re rounded forward, that means your chest is concave, therefore those muscles in the front are shortened.  Stretching these is not only one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis, it also feels good immediately.
  3. Increase mobility in your mid back. The tightness from hours of being in a hunchback posture will cause immobility in the mid back area.  This particular part of the spine (thoracic) doesn’t have as much extension (arching backwards) as the lumber (lower) or cervical (neck) spine.  However whatever extension it does have should be preserved.  It’s important to learn how to extend from this part of the back (arch back a wee bit) and find mobility again.
  4. Increase strength in the muscles around the scapula. If you to hold a squat, you need to have strong legs.  The exact same thing works for your posture: if you want to hold the scapula in retraction (pulling them together behind you) then you need to build up the muscles in this part of your back.

So how do you achieve all this?  Sure you could run the gym after work every day or at crazy early hours of the morning to get some seated rows and lat pull downs in.  Most of us don’t have time for this.  But in just 5 to 10 minutes a day, you can see and feel immediate results from “The 5 Minute Solution to Back Pain” PDF that you can get delivered in your email box immediately.

I’ve hand selected the best 5 exercises that can accomplish the most results in the least amount of time.  They are easily done in a space by your bed, by your desk, in your kitchen or in your bathroom (for real!).  All you need is a doorway and a foam roller.  If you don’t own a foam roller, it’s time you should, and you can purchase one here at my favorite supply store Perform Better (you want the 3 foot long, 6 inches round model).

This simple one page document will streamline the confusion of what to do, and avoid you wasting your time with exercises you don’t need.  5 Min Solution PicSign up to receive this fast and easy solution that anyone can do, anytime, anywhere.  You will also receive a link to the video I created with the exact same exercises.  This video is only 1 minute long and will give you a quick visual on how to perform the exercises properly.

Send me your email address below so I can send you this valuable information.  Join the posture geek revolution and get started on fixing that achy back!

P.S. If you do the routine 2 times a day, you will see amazing results. Just 10 minutes a day is all it takes to look immediately better and feel less pain!

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3 years ago

Why Does My Neck Always Hurt?

I hear it all the time… “my neck always hurts” or “my shoulders are achy and I’m not sure why?”

We live in a society of texting, computers, driving and sitting. The picture below demonstrates what happens when we engage in all this forward leaning activity; the “forward head” posture. Yes… there is something wrong with your spine. Your muscles are pulling it out of alignment. Chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists can help with the pain associated with this new postural position, but the only way to resolve the issue long term, is to fix your posture.

Forward Head Posture

Imagine as you look at this picture to your right. Your head weighs 8 to 10 lbs. That’s like a bowling ball leaning forward, using muscles that were originally intended to keep you upright. Of course these muscles will get sore, causing other structural issues along the way! The best way to correct “forward head” posture is to stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles and get yourself back into alignment. It’s important to practice this new position in your everyday workouts, and in your life. If you spend 8 hours in front of a computer jutting your head forward, then you should expect spending at least a few minutes a day working to counteract this posture.

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Basic Neck Stretch

 

 You can do some simple stretches like the one in the picture to the right. You’ve probably seen this one before! However, this stretch will make your neck feel good… But you also have to STRETCH THE CHEST and STRENGTHEN the neck/upper back muscles to help keep the head back in the correct position.
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Chest Stretch on a Ball

First start with a chest stretch. You absolutely should do this first as it will be difficult to access the back/ neck muscles if your chest is tight and pulling everything forward. Begin with this simple chest stretch to the left lying face up on a stability ball and hold it for one minute. Yes… it feels as good as it looks.

 

Wall Stand

Yes that’s a white wall behind me

Then, you can move “static wall neck pusher”. Start by standing against a wall with the upper back and head against the wall, but the lower back in it’s natural arch (not touching the wall) and the feet 2 to 4 inches away from the wall. With the palms facing your body, push against the wall with your head and hands an hold this for a minute. While you hold it, think about how you are doing a GREAT job working to strengthen the upper back and neck muscles.

Try these exercises and let me know how it feels. Were you able to keep the shoulders up against the wall? And if so, did pushing your shoulders back jut your head forward?  This happens sometimes if you’re really rounded. First start with pushing the head against the wall. Then, gradually the shoulders will follow if you focus hard on getting them back. Leave a comment below to let me know how it goes.

 

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