Are you wondering how to fix forward head posture? If so, you've come to the right place. Today, we're going to uncover the best neck posture exercises you can rely on to fix forward head posture. We'll also explain other lifestyle changes you can make to fix bad neck posture for good.
The forward head posture so many have developed is not just unsightly, it’s painful - which is why more and more emphasis is being placed on forward head posture exercises. Corrective training for the neck is the best way to regain control over your posture. By following the advice and exercises we recommend on this page, you can start looking and feeling better quickly.
This is an important resource for everyone, as forward head posture is more and more common these days, But, if you spend a lot of time at a desk, on your phone, or in front of TV screens, these recommendations are even more essential for you. We’ll explain what causes the dreaded forward head condition, and share the best forward head posture exercises for helping you pack your neck back. Let's start with an introduction to forward head posture.
What Is Forward Head Posture And What Causes It In The First Place?
First things first - what is forward head posture, and what causes it in the first place? Forward head posture is a term used to characterize bad neck posture. You have likely seen people exhibit this look before, it’s pretty hard to miss. It looks ugly in its own regard, as the head jets forward past the chest. It is usually a sign of someone not taking great care of their body. And because it's often associated with overusing technology, some people refer to this condition as "tech neck".
But beyond just the unsightly elements of this condition, it also hurts. Forward head posture puts a ton of extra stress on your cervical spine, as you’re constantly stretching all the ligaments and muscles in your neck to their limit. On top of the neck pain it causes, you can even develop chronic headaches. If left untreated, your forward head position can contribute to serious injuries down the road as a result of a combination of muscular imbalance, weakness, and overuse. All things considered, you definitely want to fix forward head posture!
So, what causes this condition to develop? It’s usually not the result of physical trauma - it’s the culmination of poor posture and overusing technology. But even those who don’t work desk jobs or use their phones often can develop a neck forward posture. Here are some of the most common causes we see:
- Spending too much time hunched over. There are lots of professions that can contribute to this, such as trucking/driving, sewing, etc.
- Constantly carrying a backpack or any other weight on your back - your head leans forward to accommodate, and over time, will get stuck that way.
- Muscular imbalances or weakness in the upper back (thoracic region). These muscles aren’t strong enough to hold your head in place, so it drifts forward.
- Some illnesses and conditions can contribute to FHP too - such as arthritis or bone degeneration.
There are plenty of other causes of this unsightly condition, but these are the most common. Being aware of your risk of developing FHP is important because you can work on your posture preventatively and mitigate your chances of developing it in the first place. However, if you're here reading our guide on how to fix forward head posture it may be too late for prevention. With that said, let's address the main question you probably have: can neck exercises really help correct forward head posture?
Can Neck Posture Exercises Help Fix Forward Head Posture?
There are a few ways you can correct forward head posture. Simply addressing the root cause of the condition - weak neck muscles. Thus, neck posture exercises are typically the best solution we can recommend to someone looking to correct forward head posture. They do work, and they will have you feeling better than ever in no time. Most people don’t train their necks - even serious athletes are unaware of the importance of a strong, stable neck.
Not only will you be able to bring your neck back into proper alignment through neck training. But, you’ll actively strengthen the neck muscles which optimizes other aspects of your physical health. You’ll decrease pain & tension, headaches, and risk of neck injury/concussions while simultaneously increasing your range of motion! All things considered, training those neck muscles is a great idea. So, let’s share some of our favorites.
The Best Neck Posture Exercises To Fix Forward Head Position
With all of these exercises we share below, be sure to properly research the technique before adding any load. Practice in a mirror, record yourself executing these exercises from different angles, and be confident in your form. Forward head posture exercises are perfectly safe when performed with the right technique and a safe load, so ease your way into these. If you’re dealing with forward head condition right now, you’re going to have a pretty limited range of motion to start with, so you’ll need to build it up over time.
What Equipment Do I Need To Perform Neck Posture Exercises?
A lot of people can get by without any equipment - at least at first. As you get better at performing these movements, you’ll need to introduce new stimuli to keep improving. This can be adding more sets & reps, but at a certain point, you need to add some resistance and force the tiny little muscles in your neck to adapt. There are two routes you can take in terms of choosing your equipment & supplies - either use a neck harness with resistance belts, or use the Iron Neck Neck Strengthener.
These are both great options - it just comes down to your budget, and how serious you want to take your neck training. If you’re an athlete, we’d urge you to go with the latter. The Iron Neck is the best neck training device on the market, unlocking more exercises than anything else. Now - let’s get into some of the movements you should employ.
CHIN TUCKS (CERVICAL RETRACTION)
This exercise is super simple, and can help you regain control over your posture quickly. For the starting position, keep your head neutral, and then think about creating a double chin. This is called packing your neck, and will be the starting position for many exercises you perform - because a packed neck is the ideal neck posture! Also, remember to keep your shoulder blades down and back. If you feel your shoulder blades coming up or extending forward, you may need to build some initial stability and strength in that region.
From here, you simply tuck your chin down and think about touching it to the base where your neck and chest make. This is the most important neck posture exercise, as you are going to be training your muscles to stay packed and hold your neck in place.
This one movement will be a staple in your battle against forward head posture. From there, you can round out your training with the following forward head posture exercises.
LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT
Put on your Iron Neck device or neck harness. For bonus points, you can put a trigger point on your traps (either a lacrosse ball against a wall, or using a theracane). From your packed neck starting position, simply look left and hold the position for a few seconds. Then, return to your starting point and continue the motion by then looking right. your goal should be to get your chin in line with your shoulder.
This exercise strengthens the neck and improves your range of motion all at once. By adding the trigger point element, you will further increase range of motion, as you’re clearing up tension in the traps which could limit ROM and cause shoulder pain or neck pain.
This movement is a bit more advanced. Start by attaching your harness and packing your neck. From there, think about moving your head slowly and controlling it to draw a square. Go forward, then to the right, then all the way back to the left, before bringing your head back into the starting position.
Using these exercises, you’ll find yourself regaining the posture you once had. You’ll find that not only do you look healthier, you feel healthier - and that’s what really matters!
Final Thoughts On How To Fix Forward Head With Neck Posture Exercises
Now that you know the best neck exercises to help you improve forward head posture, you can start adding these movements to your regimen. Once you've improved the forward head posture, we encourage you to stay on top of your training to prevent this condition from returning. You can check out our list of the best neck exercises for strength if you'd like.
However, we also encourage you to take a look at other areas of your life that could be contributing to forward head posture or any sort of pain/tension in the cervical spine. For example, if you spend hours in front of a screen every day, consider optimizing your workspace for ergonomics and comfort. Make sure your screen and desktop are at the proper height and consider alternating between sitting and standing.
You can also make sure you're getting the proper stretching and mobility work in. Deep tissue work on the traps and neck muscles is a great way to break through a poor range of motion and muscle tightness. Assess your sleeping situation, too. Are your pillows or mattress the cause of your poor head forward posture? It's important that while you're on this journey to eliminating forward head posture you look for other areas you can improve upon. Remember - fixing your posture will be an ongoing battle, so stay patient and consistent as you chip away at years of poor posture. Over time, you will get there!