By Coach Nadia Popova

Forward head posture occurs when your neck slants forward, placing your head in front of your shoulders.

It’s also called “text neck” or “nerd neck,” because it results from prolonged bending toward a computer screen, or hunching over a laptop or cell phone. It’s also associated with the loss of muscle strength in the aging process.

Forward head posture forces the muscles in your neck and back to work harder to keep your head upright.


As the head moves forward, the neck straightens while the righting mechanism of the eyes rotates the head up. So, it is a coupled distortion and not just a simple bending of the neck. This places a great deal of strain on the neck structures as they need to balance the weight of the head, about the weight of a bowling ball.

Although there are many muscle groups involved, research has found that the deep muscles in front of the neck are a main culprit involved with forward head posture. These muscles become overstretched and weakened, allowing the head to move further into the forward head posture. A simple but specific neck stretching exercise can help with this.

Tips for Fixing Forward Head Posture or Nerd Neck

The best way to correct your forward head posture or nerd neck is to keep your neck supported at all  times. Here are four things to help you get started:

  • Exercise & Stretch
  • Supportive pillow
  • Ergonomic workstation
  • Properly sized backpack or bag

Ways to Combat Forward Head Posture

Today I just want to share 3 postural strategies and movement patterns that you can use throughout the day to prompt neutral neck and shoulder position in order to release tension in your body.

  • Find a neutral neck position when upright: think of someone pulling a string attached to the back of your skull, encouraging a gentle chin tuck.
  • Practice the active rest position – lie down on your back with your knees bent and either a small pillow or a book under your head. Visualize melting into the floor, flattening your low back against the ground. This will lower your ribcage as you exhale and cause your chin to tuck gently. This is a much needed break for your neck that will help you destress and develop better posture.

Perform a gentle chest opener to release lat and pec muscle tightness. Place your hands on the counter while standing a couple feet away from it. Hinge at the hips, sinking them back until your back is parallel to the floor. Gently lengthen your finger tips forward. If you are very tight through the hamstrings, bend your knees.

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