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Quick Fixes For Forward Head

Posture Perfect: Fix Your Forward Head

When I was a young dancer, my British ballet mistress told me I danced like a chicken. A far cry from the swan I longed to be! The problem was not with my arms or back but with my neck. I had serious forward head, that eager looking posture where your thrust your head forward from your body. Not only is it unattractive, especially in profile, it can be a pain in the neck. Here are two simple ways to deal with this common postural problem.

First: Stand at a wall with your heels, booty, shoulder blades, and back of your head against the wall. Now adjust your skull so your eyes are looking straight forward without having to move your eyeballs downward; think of the skull pivoting backward on the axis of the spine to do this.This might feel a bit weird, but should give you a sense of how forward your head actually is. Stay there for about 30 seconds and think about lengthening your spine and opening your chest.

Second: The muscles at the base of the skull become really tight when your head thrusts forward. To train those muscles to lengthen and strengthen the opposite muscle group, try this simple exercise we call Nose Nods in the Pilates world.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your nose should point directly toward the ceiling.
  • Keeping your neck long, slowly nod your head. The skull should pivot on the neck and your neck shouldn't move. Think of drawing an arc with your nose, but don't try to flatten your neck onto the floor.
  • Slowly return your head back to starting position. You should feel a small stretch at the back of your neck and a little muscular work near your throat.

Tight pecs can contribute to the problem, so be sure to stretch your chest too.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Barnes
Join The Conversation
eatingbirdfood eatingbirdfood 5 years
Thanks for posting this! So many people have posture and forward head issues from sitting a desk on the computer all day, myself included.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Interesting! I sometimes tend to slouch a bit, so this advice is great for me. Sometimes I just need to be made aware of the fact that my posture is off so that I can fix it.
rach1007 rach1007 7 years
my chiropractor pointed out this problem to me. He had me hold a small five pound medicine in one hand. He first had me hold it with my wrist straight, forcing the muscles in my hand and wrist to work harder to hold on to the ball. then he had me bend my wrist back so that my palm was supporting the weight. Basically, that's like your neck trying to hold up your head. When you hold your head forward like, your muscles are constantly straining to hold on to your heavy head. He also told me to make sure that my ears are over my shoulders- it's a quick way to self correct when you don't have a wall to lean on!
Vsugar Vsugar 7 years
OMG - I had a British Ballet mistress give me a hard time about my forward thrusting chin as well!! But we called it "caveboy syndrome".
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
This is so ironic! During the last few days, I noticed people with a strong forward head, and wondered about their posture. Personally, I don't have one. I've trained as a dancer (and a swimmer) so my posture is streamlined. I had very strict dance instructors and swim coaches. I got properly yelled at when my form was off.
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