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  • Kris

Five Exercises to Strengthen Your Cervical Spine

Many of us suffer from poor posture due to our everyday lives. We spend a lot of time at the computer, looking at our phones, and driving long distances. We end up having poor cervical posture, which refers to a misalignment or deviation from the normal position of the neck, head, and spine. A few other contributing factors to poor cervical posture include:

  • Poor Ergonomics: Poorly designed desks, chairs, and computer setups can cause strain on the neck and spine, leading to poor posture.

  • Weak Core and Neck Muscles: Weak neck and core muscles can cause the neck to become fatigued and misaligned, leading to poor posture.

  • Poor Sleeping Habits: Sleeping in a position that puts strain on the neck, such as sleeping on your stomach, can contribute to poor posture.

  • Stress: Chronic stress and tension can cause muscles in the back and neck to become tight, leading to poor posture.

  • Injuries or conditions: Certain injuries, such as whiplash, or conditions such as scoliosis, can lead to poor posture.

Poor cervical spine posture can lead t oa variety of problems including headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and even lower back pain. In addition, it can also impact breathing, digestion, and overall quality of life. By making changes in your lifestyle and incorporating exercises to improve posture, such as the ones featured below, you can help improve your cervical spine posture and reduce the risk of associated problems. Pilates is a great way to improve cervical spine and posture, as it focuses on strengthening the core muscles and promoting alignment and balance throughout the body. Here are some Pilates exercises that you can do to help improve your cervical spine and posture:

  • Neck Stretches: Begin in a seated position, with a tall spine and your shoulders relaxed. Gently tilt upper head forward, then to the left, then to the right, and finally backwards. Repeat this sequence several times, holding each position for a few seconds.

  • Shoulder Squeezes:Raise arms to shoulder height, elbows bent and palms forward. Move arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 8-10 times. (see below)

  • The Swimming Exercise:lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Lift your right arm and left leg off the floor, keeping them in line with your body. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your limbs and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. (not pictured).

  • The Plank: Begin in a push-up position, with your hands positioned under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds, focusing on keeping your neck and spine in a neutral position.

  • Supine Twist: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and slowly drop your knees to one side, keeping your shoulders on the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly return to center and repeat on the opposite side.

Remember to always warm up before starting any exercise routine, and to breathe deeply throughout each exercise to help keep your muscles relaxed. It's also important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, especially if you're just starting out with Pilates.


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