Weak postural muscles are one of the most foundational problems of movement deficits and injuries for humans. With prolonged time spent looking down at our phones and seated at our desks while on the computer, these muscles often become weak and cause our upper back to round and our head to move forward. This puts extra stress and strain particularly on our neck and spine. In fact, for every inch forward our head moves, it causes the gravitational weight of our head to increase by 10 pounds forcing our neck muscles to have to work that much harder! Additionally, a rounded upper back can impede our shoulder range of motion and our ability to reach overhead.
A great exercise to strengthen these muscles is the Z- Press!
For this exercise, begin seated in a long sitting position with elbows slightly forward and 45º to the side.
From this position, press up towards the sky until your arms reach behind your ears.
Next, slowly lower to the resting position and repeat.
You should feel muscles in your upper back working during this exercise. This exercise targets the thoracic extensor muscles, which help to keep your upper back nice and upright!
Check out the photos on how to do the Z-Press properly below!