Are You At Risk for Kyphosis?

If you sit at a computer 8 hours a day like I used to do, you may have excessive kyphosis. It was the first thing Shannon noticed about me those years ago when I started training with her.

Thoracic kyphosis is a forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back. Some curvature is normal, but many of us have an excessive amount. It’s an extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance.

Your personal trainer can help identify and provide an exercise protocol to bring the spine back into proper alignment. Such a protocol might include breathing exercises to increase flexibility of the thoracic spine, exercises to strengthen weakened back muscles, and stretching to loosen tight chest muscles.

Curious about yourself? Here’s a simple test you can try:

KYPHOTIC ASSESSMENT

Place the index finger of one hand on the sternal notch, the indentation between your collarbones at front of your throat. Then place the index finger of your other hand on the vertebrae immediately below the ones that stick out most at the base of your neck. Turn your head to the side and look at the position of your fingers in a mirror. Ideally, your fingers should be at approximately the same height. If the finger on the front of your chest is lower than the finger on the back of your neck, your thoracic spine has rounded forward and your rib cage has dropped, meaning you have excessive kyphosis.

(Adapted from IDEA Health & Fitness)

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