3 exercises that will counteract your smart phone/computer time
By: Kyle Stafford, DPT, CSCS, Claremore Clinic
Ah yes, this topic will hit home with most of you. Make no mistake, prior to writing this I was on my MacBook Air for two hours. As a physical therapist, I have ZERO room to talk about getting away from from iPhone 6S Plus (they are so glorious). I also know the exercises below will help to counteract my imperfect daily habits, and I do them regularly. This generation and even the young mothers (yeah, I said it) are on their phones ALL… THE… TIME… So you have to take consideration for this down the road with some mobility exercises and activating the muscles that you do not use when staring at your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/E-Mail/you get the picture. At SUMMIT we see these common symptoms daily and listed below are the routine exercises we prescribe to our patients.
1. Pectoralis minor stretch- Our PT, Matt, has a foam roller underneath him enhancing his thoracic spine extension. We spend much of our time with our head forward, shoulders rounded forward, and this exercises works to counteract all of those positions
3-5 minutes at a time at 2-3 times daily
2. Serratus wall slide
This is to activate the serratus anterior muscle that assists with helping your shoulder blade rotate upward. It also helps stretch your lattisimus dorsi muscle that runs form your lower back to your upper shoulder/arm. These muscles can become very tight/weak with a lot of time spent in a rounded forward position. You’ll notice the forearm is in contact with the wall from my elbow to my hand and my chin/head position stays level.
10-15 reps with a 3-5 sec hold 2-3 times daily
3. Sidelying open book
This exercise is to enhance mobility of your thoracic spine which is the region of the spine below your neck and above your lower back. (Roughly between your shoulder blades). A large majority of our patients young and elder have reduced mobility and range of motion of this region.
Above, you can see the starting position with the knee resting at hip level on a support surface. This is to eliminate rotation of the lower back and focus solely on the cervical and thoracic spine. Matt follows his top hand with his head and eyes as he rotates until he finds a point of restriction. Once he hits this wall, he will then lift his bottom arm up to complete the exercise. Exhaling during the exercising will make the exercise much more effective in reducing tone, guarding, and any hesitancy.
1 set of 15 reps holding for 5- 10 seconds on both sides daily