As I discussed in a post a while back, its important to stretch muscles that are short or stiff on you, not just what you learned in high school gym class or what feels “tight.” Often muscles which give the sensation of feeling tight are actually overstretched already.
So how do you decide what to stretch? In PT we often do special tests in order to confirm our suspicions; however, without doing this one can still get a good idea of what they need to do based off of posture.
Here are some common postures and their corresponding muscle groups which tend to be short/stiff.
Next post will be a video specifically on what to stretch to address “forward head” posture.
Short/stiff: SCM & Scalenes
Weak/elongated: Deep neck flexors
Short/stiff: Pectoralis minor, shoulder external rotators
Weak/elongated: Middle/lower traps. Internal rotators of the shoulder.
Rounded Upper Back
Short/stiff: pectoralis major and minor, lats
Weak/elongated: Traps, Rhomboids
Increased curve of low back
Short/stiff: spinal extenders (erector spinae), hip flexors
Weak/elongated: abdominals, glutes
Anterior Pelvic Tilt:
Short/stiff: hip flexors, hamstrings
Weak/elongated: glutes, abdominals
Feet turned out:
Short/stiff: gastrocnemius, soles, posterior tib (muscles that point the toe)
Elongated/weak: anterior tibialis, toe flexors
Now that we know which muscles we need to target, we’ll dive into HOW to actually do this.
Please check out my next post where I discuss how to stretch the muscles which are short and contribute to bad neck posture.