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Working Out with Specificity in Relation to Upper Cross Syndrome

April 20, 2015

With functional movements creating a buzz in the fitness community, many people are adapting their workouts to incorporate 5 key lifts.  Bench press, Squat, Cleans, Overhead Press, and Deadlifts can make an excellent foundation for many individuals who don’t have a specific goal in mind.  Think about what your job requires you to do or what you do in everyday life that requires power (work/time).  These activities may range from grabbing your groceries out of your cart to hanging drywall all day.  Regardless of what activity you perform, it all requires power to execute.  This is where specificity comes into play. If your job requires you to stock shelves for long periods, adding in some more core strengthening exercises as well as shoulder strengthen specific exercise would be a very good idea.  If your job has you at a desk for most of the day, core strengthening plays a very important role in maintaining good posture and keep your lower back from hurting.  Take a moment to think about your current activity requirements for life, and add in these exercises that will help improve the day to day!

Here is a sample workout that includes some specificity tailored to someone who sits behind a desk primarily.  Often we see an issue arise known as Upper Cross Syndrome.  This involves having a tight chest and tight upper traps in combination with weak rhomboids, lower traps, and weak cervical flexors.  Making sure to do an all inclusive back workout is critical to eliminate this problem.

Start with a lat pull down of 3 sets at 12 reps.  (Written in shorthand as 3×12)

lat pull down 1 lat pull down 2

Then move to seated low rows at 3×12.  Make sure to activate your entire trap by squeezing your shoulders together at the bottom of the exercise.

seated low row 1 seated low row 2

Bent over rows with a barbell are another great way to target your traps and rhomboids at 3×12

bent over row 1 bent over row 2

To finish out your back workout move to back extension at 3×12

back extension 1 back extension 2

Then add in some core (making sure to maintain proper posture through entire exercise),

Prone Superman Holds 3×10

Prone Superman Holds 1 Prone Superman Holds 2

Pelvic  Bridge 3×10

pelvic bridge 1 pelvic bridge 2

Clam Shells (feel free to use a band to add resistance when ready) 3×10

clam shell 1 clam shell 2

By adding in these exercises to your workouts, you will strengthen your core and be on your way to better fitness.  If you are unsure what exercises can help benefit you specifically, or would like a demonstration of these exercises, your fitness professionals are here to help.

Jay Corti, ACSM-CPT


20150402_jay_0014About the Author:

Certifications and Education

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

NREMT Emergency Medical Technician/ Healthcare Provider CPR certified

USSA Mogul Skiing Level 1 certification

Working on Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with Coaching Minor

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