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Wake Up This "Hidden" Muscle to Fix


 HUNCHBACK Posture (aka Kyphosis)

 If This Muscle Isn't Working, You'll Never Improve Your Posture
 Ever catch a glimpse in the mirror and spot a major
hunchback posture? Most people don’t know the
secret to xing this lies in engaging hidden muscles.

Let me guess: after you catch yourself looking like

Quasimodo, you quickly pull your shoulder blades
back to pu up your chest. This works for about 2
minutes, but then before you know it, you’re right
back to that hunched position, with rounded
shoulders and your head sticking forward.

Moving Beyond the Quick Fix for Hunchback Posture

Let me guess - after you catch yourself looking like Quasimodo, you quickly pull your shoulder blades
back and pu up your chest. This works for about 2 minutes then before you know it, you’re right
back in that hunched position with rounded shoulders and your head jutting forward.

This hunchback posture, also known as thoracic kyphosis, is an exaggeration of the natural curve of
our thoracic spine – the 12 vertebrae that make up our mid to upper back.

Image by

When you take the typical postural strategy of ring up your scapular stabilizers to pull your
shoulder blades back, you call on super cial muscles like your rhomboids and lower traps to
straighten you up.

The problem is that these scapular stabilizers are phasic muscles [1] – meaning they’re made of
powerful, fast-twitch bers that are meant to re intermittently to produce powerful movements.
They also fatigue quickly, which is why they're poorly suited for maintaining good posture. 

The Long Spinal Extensors: You're Not Quite There Yet!

Instead, you need to be activating deeper, tonic muscles for postural stability. Tonic muscles are
those meant to perform sustained, low level contractions and are more resistant to fatigue.
Think of tonic muscles as marathon runners and phasic muscles as sprinters. As such, tonic
muscles are well-suited to help you maintain good posture all day.

However, not all tonic muscles are created equal when it comes to xing that hunchback
posture for good.

Once you advance beyond the scapular stabilizers, you might try to recruit the tonic muscles of
the erector spinae, but there are some problems with this approach too.

This group of muscles runs the length of your

spine - from your pelvis all the way to your neck
[2]. Individual muscles in this group usually cross
around 8 vertebrae.

Because the muscles are so long and cross so

many joints, they aren’t the best way to x
thoracic kyphosis either.

When you engage these muscles, they don’t cause

equal extension across all of the vertebrae they
cross. Instead, they tend to cause a lot of motion
at the most mobile joint, and nothing much else
at all of the others.

And since thoracic mobility is an issue for most people, you’re probably pretty restricted along
most of your thoracic spine.

This creates something like a hinge point in your back – it may look like you’ve got a bit better
posture temporarily, but you haven’t found a true neutral spine.

The Multi dus: Activate These Muscles for Perfect Posture

The only way to address the issue of kyphosis long-term is to go deeper and get at some
“hidden” muscle groups – the deep spinal extensors.

Deep to the erector spinae is the transversospinalis group. This group includes the semispinalis
muscles, which cross 4-6 vertebrae and provide more targeted extension.

But even more important and the real key is to activate the multi dus muscles. This muscle
group spans your entire spine and you may have heard of the multi dus as being important
for low back pain, but they're also critical to ghting hunchback posture. These small but mighty
muscles cross 2-4 of your vertebrae [3].  

Imagine how much precision targeting the multi dus

produces. When the muscle contracts, the movement is
going to come from a very speci c area and cause
extension at fewer joints.

By ring up the multi dus, you can create targeted

extension at whatever segment you want. 

That’s why these deep, tonic, and localized spinal extensors

are key to moving beyond the 2-minute x and getting rid
of that hunchback posture for good.

  Image by www.north

Get Rid of Hunchback Posture for Good with the

4-Point T-Spine End Range Expansion (ERE) Sequence
Now that we understand the why, we can tackle the how.

To do so, I have developed a technique called the 4-Point T-Spine End Range Expansion
(ERE) sequence.

In the video below, you'll see the anatomy and learn the biomechanics of the spine and
why this technique is so e ective at combating hunchback posture.

Wake Up This "Hidden" Muscle to Fix HUNCHBACK Posture (aka Kyphosis)

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16:11 / 16:11

4-Point T-Spine ERE Instructions

Start in a quadruped position, and warm up by moving through a few rounds of
 cat-camel to get your muscles activated. Round your spine to look down, then
extend the spine to look up, completing about  5-6 cycles.

To get setup for the ERE position, lock out your elbows and keep them straight.
 Make sure your scaps are protracted so that you’re pushing away from the
ground. Maintaining protraction will help make sure that your rhomboids aren’t
stepping in to get involved.

Start with a neutral position of the spine. Then extend the spine and anteriorly
 tilt the pelvis. While you do this, keep your chin pulled in a bit so that you
continue to look at the oor.

Maintain this extension and bring your attention to activating your thoracic
 spine and the area between your shoulder blades. This will help make sure your
multi di are engaged (other muscles probably will be on too, and that’s ne).

Keep this area engaged and extended as you start to ex your lumbar spine
 and move into a posterior pelvic tilt. While maintaining this thoracic extension
and lumbar exion, add in cervical exion as well, exing your neck.

Now you’ve isolated the thoracic extensors while everything above and below in
 the chain is in exion. In this position, that deep, “hidden” multi dus is targeted.

Hold the position for a moment, then return to neutral. That’s one cycle – you
 should aim to complete 3-5 cycles. As you do so, remember to breathe and
maintain shoulder protraction and straight elbows.

Isolating this movement might feel di cult as rst – especially if your posture has been bad for
a long time. But keep practicing 2-3 times a week and when you do get the thoracic multi dus
red up, you'll know it and it'll open you up like you've never felt before, allowing you to
maintain good posture with ease.

Continue training to build endurance in these muscles, and your posture will get better and
better the more you do it and standing up straight will feel like a natural and easy position to
maintain throughout the day – whether you’re working out in the gym or standing on the

About the Author

Eric Wong (aka Coach E) holds an Honours Bachelor of Science in
Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. He’s been a trainer since
2004 and spent many years training professional combat athletes
including 3 UFC ghters, so he’s had much experience dealing with
injuries. He’s the founder of Precision Movement and has dedicated
himself to helping active people eliminate pain, heal & prevent injuries
and improve mobility so they can get back to and keep doing the
things they love.

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