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Upper Crossed Syndrome

๐Ÿค”What is it?๐Ÿค” Upper crossed syndrome is a posture variation due to muscle imbalances in the upper back and neck. People with upper crossed syndrome present with forward (anterior) head carriage, rounded shoulders and slouch upper back. โž– ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ What is happening? ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ Due to repetitive poor posture or uneven work loads, certain muscles in the upper body become weak while others become overused and tight. ๐Ÿ‹๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ“š โž– The tight muscles include the upper trapezius, levator scapulae and suboccipitals on the posterior (back) side on the body and pectoralis (pec) muscles on the anterior (front) side of the body. โž– Inhibited or weak muscles include deep neck flexors in the front of the neck and lower trapezius, serratus anterior, and rhomboids on the back side of the body.

As you can see in this image , when you draw a line connecting the weak muscles and a line connecting the tight muscles an X is formed, hence the name upper crossed! โž– Exercises to correct Upper Crossed Syndrome: Simply put, tight muscles need to be stretched and weak muscles need to be strengthened. Swipe through to see demos of each exercise!


1) Deep Neck Flexors: Begin in a neutral posture, tuck your chin (the more chins the better ๐Ÿ˜‰), then lift your head slightly off the ground, hold position for 10 seconds then relax. Repeat!

2) Rhomboids: Using a elastic rope to create tension, draw your elbows striaght back keeping them close to your body, focus on pinching your shoulder blades together. Relax and repeat!

๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธStretch: 1) Pectoralis Major & Minor: Using a wall, post or doorway, create 90ยฐ angles with your shoulder and elbow, lean your body forward to feel a stretch in the front of the chest. 2) Suboccipitals: Using a firm ball place the ball at the base of your skull (overtop your suboccipital muscles). Put pressure by pushing downwards then rolling the ball side to side. To intensify this stretch, perform a chin tuck then proceed as instructed above.

Dont hesitate to ask any questions! ๐Ÿ˜

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