Saturday, April 2, 2011

Posture 201: Kyphosis

Trust do not want to end up an old hunched over lady (that goes for guys also).  You can spot them from a mile away.  They lean over shopping karts, drag along their walkers and slowly shrink over the years.  Sadly this happens mostly because of poor posture.

Kyphosis (extreme curve of the thoracic spine) posture may include a jutting chin, tight chest muscles, weak spinal extensors, strain on the neck, and tucked pelvis when standing.  A person with this posture looks like they are slouching.  It is important to learn to take your neck out of the equation.  Placing a tennis ball under the chin as a place holder when preforming ab work will allow you or your client to think more leading with the crown of the head then with the chin.

When designing a workout plan for someone with Kyphosis focus on avoiding excessive flexion of the spine.  This will only further promote their posture habits.  Exercises such as Saw, Push Through, Rowing or Stomach Massage can be avoided or kept to minimal repetitions.  Focus more on stretching the pectoral muscles and hamstrings.  Work to strengthen the spinal extensors and core muscles.

Exercises for Kyphosis:
  • Back Extension (click for video): Swan, Elbow Lifts, Double Leg Stretch
  • Hamstring Stretches: Leg Circles, Barrel Ballet Stretches, Elephant, Tree, Feet in Straps 
  • Foam Roll (click for video) Puppet Arms/Circles/Scissors
  • Core Strength: Series of 5 or 100s
  • Standing/Kneeling Chest Expansion
  • Back Strength: Dogbird, Superman/Swimming, Planks Front/Side, Pulling Straps
Stand taller throughout your day, breathe deep and scoop in those abs to have a healthier back in the future.  Age gracefully with the help of Pilates!  


  1. Thank you for this post. Keep it up. Hope to read more post from you guys.


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