Introducing… CHIN TUCKS! Look at the image below. A lot of times when we sit in front of a computer, we’re hunched over with our head forward (without really realizing it). Meanwhile, there are a bunch of muscles in your neck and upper back that are basically holding on for dear life to keep your head upright. Eventually, some of them will give up, resulting in the pain you might feel from time to time. As you get older, chronic changes will develop and you could end up having permanent posture like this… and no one wants ugly posture.
Yes, I can go on and explain the science behind everything, or even give you 20 different exercises to do at the gym to correct this… but no one has time for that! So let’s talk about something very simple that you can do at your desk.
The Chin Tuck
The Chin Tuck is designed to give your muscles some extra support and train your body to understand what better posture feels like.
Chin tucks can be performed while standing or sitting. Here is a simple way to do chin tucks for a beginner:
- Sit upright and look straight ahead with the ears directly over the shoulders.
- Place a finger on the chin.
- Without moving the finger, pull the chin and head straight back until a good stretch is felt at the base of the head and top of the neck. (There should now be some separation between the chin and finger.)
- Hold for 5 seconds if possible.
- Bring the chin forward again to the finger.
- Repeat for a total of 10 times, or as tolerated.
In the beginning, it can help to have the finger as a point of reference. As the chin tuck becomes more comfortable to perform, it may no longer be necessary to hold up the finger.
In Other Words…
Just keep your chin back when you’re sitting down. This is NOT something that you should think of as an “exercise”. Just think of it as “the correct way to sit”. In the beginning, you will benefit from holding it for 5 seconds on and off. You eventually should try to keep your chin tucked for much longer periods of time.