The Easy Move That Just May Cure Your "Text Neck"
In an emoji-filled world, this is scary news, indeed. A recent study found that constantly looking down at your screen to text puts the same amount of strain on your spine as holding a 60-pound weight on your neck. Want to keep your spine happy and healthy? Try this exercise, a favorite of celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, to improve posture and look leaner.
The trick to combating "text neck," bad posture, and possible spinal damage is strengthening back muscles: this will help you maintain a natural posture, no matter what you are doing. "Your spine should be the letter S," says Harley, who's trained his share of Hollywood's elite, including Katy Perry, Jessica Simpson, and Rihanna. "With [smartphones] today, our head tends to go forward, so we become the number five instead of the letter S." Maintain that natural curve of your body by holding your phone at eye level to keep your head up while you text, and undo bad posture and strain by adding this simple back-strengthening exercise, the Superman, into your routine.
- Lie facedown on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated U shape with your body — your back arches and your arms and legs lift several inches off the floor.
- Hold for two to five seconds, and lower back down to complete one.
- Do three sets of 12.
Exhale as you lift your arms and legs, and inhale as you lower them back down. When you have completed all three sets, or even in between each set, do the Child's Pose to stretch your back.