How to Fix Forward Head Posture | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How to Fix Forward Head Posture

April 16, 2013 | Robert Taylor

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

I'm sure you've had someone try to fix your posture. But did they tell you that bad posture—specifically a forward head tilt—can actually hurt your athletic performance.

Although posture seems like a small part of athletic training, it can have serious implications if you ignore it. A forward head tilt can cause your skill mechanics to break down, leading to potential neck, shoulder, back and elbow pain, or more severe injuries. (Try these exercises to prevent back pain.)

When you look at your entire body to make sure it is ready for competition, don't be afraid to put your back literally up against a wall to correct your posture. Be ready for the challenge.

How to assess your forward head posture

  • Stand with your head, shoulder blades and hips against a wall with your heels about six inches away.
  • Have a teammate use their fingers to determine how many fingers can be placed between the back of your neck and the wall.
  • If your partner can fit more than three fingers, your neck will be about two inches away from the wall and you likely have a forward head posture.

How to minimize forward head posture

Consult your sports medicine team, athletic trainer, or physical therapist for a more specific program design.

  • When working at a computer, position the monitor so that the top third of the screen is level with your eyes and between 18 and 24 inches away from your face. The exact distance depends on the size of the screen; the larger the screen, the further away it should be placed.
  • When sitting, always sit up straight and maintain a curve in your lower back. Try to find chairs that have some amount of built-in low-back support. Keeping the low back (a.k.a. the lumbar spine) in proper alignment will keep your head from drifting forward. (Learn how to reduce low-back pain.)
  • Remove extra pillows from under your head at night. One is enough. Since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, it's important not to reinforce bad alignment during this time.

Exercises forward head posture correction

Do both of these exercises for two minutes each hour you are awake. Perform ten reps each time. Remember, the posture you have now took years to develop, so it will take time and practice to restore good posture.

Chin Tuck

  • Stand or sit as straight as possible with proper spine alignment.
  • Ask a teammate, coach or trainer for feedback so you are consistently in a good position prior to and during this exercise.
  • Using your neck muscles, pull your head back until your ears are over your shoulders, as if some someone were pushing your nose toward the back of your head.
  • Keep your eyes level. Try not to move your head up or down, but let it glide back. Hold for five seconds.
  • Return to the start position and repeat for the specified reps and time.

Chin Tuck in Supine Position

  • Lie on your back with nothing behind your head.
  • Nod your head by brining your chin closer to your chest without lifting the back of your head off the floor. Hold for five seconds.
  • Return to the start position and repeat for specified reps and time.

Watch this video from SMARTER Team Training for more info on forward head posture.

Editor's Note: Coach Taylor has developed the SMARTER Team Training Audio Interview Series, dedicated to promoting critical thinking, reason and public understanding of prudent, purposeful and productive strength and conditioning practices for clients and athletes. Listen to episodes featuring some of the best experts in the fields of strength and conditioning, personal training, sports nutrition and sport psychology here

Photo: accidentclaimforpersonalinjury.blogspot.com

Topics: BACK
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
Robert Taylor
- Robert Taylor is the founder and owner of SMARTER Team Training. He has served as the head strength and conditioning coach at Loyola University Maryland;...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,276,651
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,155,784
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 21,893,870

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: Duke University Views: 217,694
Eastbay: It Begins Now Views: 67,081
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 118,412
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

How to Train With Running Blisters

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt