When you lay down on your back to exercise, is your head in the correct alignment? Is it supported, or does it feel strained? For some people, laying down on their back without some sort of head and neck support, can be very uncomfortable. This can be for a few reasons, whether it’s posture related (kyphosis) where shoulders become more round in appearance and both tightness and weakness occurs from this repetitive forward carriage of our body. Or, it can be more structurally related where the bones in our spine change shape over time as we age, creating a more “hunched appearance”. An extreme curvature of the spine is a condition known as “Scheuermann’s Disease” where the spinous process of the vertebral column become wedged in appearance, creating an even more severe curve in the upper to middle spine.
So, what can you do to help reduce the strain in your neck when laying down to exercise? The cervical pillow pictured above, is my latest purchase for clients laying down the reformer to execute their supine work. However, in my Pilates mat classes, and in all group fitness sessions or personal gym work you participate in, it’s as simple as folding a towel into an extra base of support, like a pillow. This brings your head in line with your shoulders, which enables more support through the neck and head, correcting alignment with little fuss. Think to yourself, nose points directly up to the ceiling, not forward to back.
Try it out! Take care of your bodies through using simple tools like this.