Ok so we all have experienced phone neck. That stiff pinched neck you get when you hold your phone between your head and neck, now we have a new epidemic created by our phone and tablet, I am calling it gaming neck. I see more and more forward head, hunched back people coming to the studio every day. As we do more on our phones everyday, running our business, and lives from them we do suffer some postural repercussions.
In light of this I have come up with three simple exercises to help counteract our phone posture. The best part! You can still do what you need to on your phone while strengthening and instilling stronger postural muscles.
Lions pose for conscious gaming
What you need a firm/hard surface, to lie down on. Your phone or tablet.
You will start on your forearms with your ribs and abs engaged, you hip bones and public bone on the floor and your legs hip width apart and you are actively reaching them out long behind you. Quick note if you have lower back tension or issues try rolling to the pinkie toe side or outer edge of you feet.
In this position you will be actively pulling your heart center forward by putting pressure down on your forearms and engaging your shoulder blades towards each other and down. In essence reaching your heart chakra forward and up. In this position you can pick up your phone and read, play games, or check and sent email/texts, whatever. After a few minutes to release the pose you will sit back on your heals in childs pose.
This will help strengthen you back, and core. It will help you become more aware and capable of feeling your shoulders and knowing how to engage them and keep them from climbing into your ears.
Here is a video of the exercise you can watch and follow along.
Supine for Conscious Gaming
What you need: A firm/hard surface to lie down on. A soft blanket or towel for you head and neck if necessary. A block or soft medium sized ball for between you legs if you want to help strengthen you inner thighs a bit.
Lying on your back (with blanket or towel under you head/neck area if necessary) Legs will be hip width apart, feet parallel under knees, and knees in line with hips. If you’d like to place the ball or block between your inner thighs to help you maintain your alignment and strengthen your inner thighs. From here you can rest your phone/tablet next to you for a moment and reach straight arms to the ceiling. The arms will stay right in front of the shoulders, palms facing each other. The arms will stay straight the whole time so will your fingers you will then reach your straight arm for the ceiling, feeling your shoulders pull away from the spine and rise. Do this on an inhale. Then on your exhale you will retract and return your shoulders flat to the mat. Repeat this about 6 times. Become familiar with the feeling you your shoulders decompressed on the mat beneath you. Once you do this you can pick up your phone or tablet and hold it up over your face trying to keep you shoulders decompressed. (This might mean you need to bend your elbows)
Next you will bridge. Keep in mind that this a slow purposeful bridge focus being on articulation. You are only going to bridge up to your bottom rib. To begin bridge take an inhale, then on the exhale start lifting your tail bone and then each subsequent vertebrate slowly up till you get to your bottom rib. At the top take an inhale and then on the exhale slowly lower each vertebrae back down all the way until your tailbone hits the mat. If you have the ball or block you will place equal pressure in on the object as you move.
Bonus for neck tension. In this position lying flat and not in the bridge you can do a simple head nod and circle exercise to help with neck tension. What you will do is simply press the back of you head into the mat, you will feel your jaw move in and up and your nose move down. Do this about six times. Then for the circle you need to imagine a quarter right in front of your nose. You are going to use the tip of your nose to trace the circumference of the quarter six times in clockwise and six times counter clockwise.
These exercises also help with shoulder awareness as well as spinal articulation, and inner thigh strength.
Here is the video link for this exercise.
Active Sitting for Conscious Gaming
What you need: A wall and a yoga block (this is if you have a hard time sitting up straight) and a tennis ball and your phone or tablet
You are going to place the block right up against the wall and sit on it with equal weight in both sits bones.
You’re legs can be bent with feet on the floor or straight out in front of you feet pointed or flexed. If you want you can play with the point and flex while you are in the position.
Next you will place the tennis ball in between the shoulder blades or more on one side and then switch to the other. Once the ball is there you can roll it around on you’re back touching on different knots or trigger points as you see fit.
While you are doing this you can have your phone or tablet in you lap, and pick it up as you wish remembering to keep you elbows alongside your ribs. Stay here as long as you desire.
This will help give you a little message, help you work on your posture and your awareness of it, as well as strengthen your pelvic floor.
Here is the video for this exercise