We all wish for a magic pill to cure us, but seldom in life does such a thing exist. So what if I told you I know of something that can do ALL of the following:
– Make you stand up taller & look thinner
– Reduce tension headaches
– Make all your rehab exercises more effective
– Reduce degeneration of your disks
– AND give you a break from your work every hour!
It may sound too good to be true, but all of these are positive side effects of the Brugger Posture Break!
Brugger is that funny exercise we always seem to make you do at the beginning of your visit. We show you a cool way to wrap your hands into a band (which everyone thinks is some sort of puzzle they deserve a prize for), then make you stretch it out and hold it for what seems like forever. As crazy as this small exercise may seem to you, there is a method to the madness. Let me explain.
As modern Americans, we live our lives in flexion. Many of us sleep in a fetal position, sit on our drive to work, sit at a desk for hours, curl over our cell phones at lunch, get back in the car to drive home, then slouch on the couch to relax before we go to bed and do it all over again the next day. Yet our bodies did not evolve for these activities. Our spine wants to be standing up straight; humans are built for movement.
So if our curled up bodies want to be straight, how do we get them there? Bruggers! Swiss Neurologist, Alios Brugger, developed this exercise to help relieve pain related to poor posture. Brugger position works by neurologically reminding your extensor muscles to activate. Done repetitively, this will improve poor posture over time and give you all the benefits that better posture has to offer.
This is how you do it:
1. Start your upper body in a flexed position (as if typing at a computer)
2. Next we start to take the upper extremities into extension. Let?s start with the fingers and wrists.
3. Now start to rotate the arms externally as you fully extend the arms.
4. Activate the scapula and pull the arms slightly behind the midline of your body if possible. Make sure that your palms face upward. (if the palms are facing the ground you are most likely rotating your shoulders forward)
5. Hold for 5-10 seconds. (At first, you may want to look in a mirror to make sure that should shoulders do not elevate and the head does not move forward.)
6. Release and return to flexed starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Bruggers may also be performed while seated at a desk and/or with a band wrapped around the hands for increased results. It is recommended that people with desk jobs take a Brugger break once an hour to minimize risk of posture related pain or injury. Now you can see why we love that silly little band exercise. It?s the closest thing to a magic pill we have to offer!
Sport and Spine Rehab
Rehab Specialist, Sterling
About Jennifer: Jennifer DelMonte is a foodie, wino, amateur yogi, and self proclaimed astronomer. She also happens to be a Rehab Specialist at SSR.