As a professional stretcher, I see a lot people with different mobility restrictions. However, one of the most common issues I see is upper and lower cross syndrome, or in common terms, sitting/computer posture. Yes, many of us are a victim of sitting, which will unfortunately result in muscle imbalances and tightness. In the shoulder girdle and upper thoracic/ cervical region, this postural abnormality is called upper cross syndrome. In the pelvic girdle, this postural abnormality is called lower cross syndrome.    

Clients with upper cross syndrome usually present with forward head, internal humeral rotation, downward scapular rotation, and a degree of excessive kyphosis, or rounding in the thoracic spine. Depending on the severity of the posture and the age/physical disposition of the client will determine the effectiveness and duration of the soft tissue treatment.  

Common muscle shortening/tightness can be found in these muscle groups: pec major/minor (chest), deltoid, levator scapulae, trapezius, splenius capitis and semispinalis capitis (among a few other cervical erectors), SCM or sternocleidomastoid, and humeral external/ internal rotators.  

Clients with lower cross syndrome usually present with anterior pelvic tilt, sway back or excessive lordosis in the lumbar spine and week abdominals. Common muscle shortening/tightness can be found in: hip flexor group, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and gluteal musculature. 

Here are 5 stretches that will help you fight back!

STRETCHES

  1. hip flexor stretch with posterior tilt
  2. cobra stretch
  3. pigeon
  4. foam roller snow angels
  5. double quad with biceps 

Hip Flexor Stretch with Posterior Tilt

Foam Roller Snow Angels

Cobra Stretch

Double Quad with Biceps

Pigeon