Every major muscle in your body has an antagonist (a muscle that does the opposite motion). Our everyday habits such as sitting at a computer for extended period of time, poor posture or repetitive activities can cause one of those muscle groups to become tighter and stronger and overpower the other muscle group, causing imbalances in our bodies.
For example, sitting at a computer all day can cause something called upper cross syndrome. This presents with rounded shoulders, head in front of the body and an apparent curve in the neck and upper back. Simply put, it is the weakening and lengthening of the posterior upper back and neck muscles and the tightening and shortening of the opposing pectoral (chest) and neck muscles. The correction for this would be stretching the chest and strengthening the upper back muscles.
One of my favorite exercises for this is somthing I call the “scorpion”. To perform this exercise, stand up tall with a dumbbell in each hand. Let the dumbbells hang in front of your body. With you shoulders back & down, squeeze you shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat 10-12 times.
Rebecca LeSaffre is the owner of Lynnfield Boot Camp. She is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, a Fitness Nutrition Coach and a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. She is qualified to assess what types of exercises will be most beneficial for meeting personal fitness goals, while also helping assure that you use proper form for maximum results and injury prevention. You can contact her via her web site www.lynnfieldbootcamp.com