Many people are so gung ho to strengthen their core that they forget about their neck posture. How to position your whole body – before getting too deeply into an exercise program – particularly one that is designed to help stabilize your core – may help you avoid a painful cervical spine injury later.
This means choosing the weights and types of movements that you can handle without breaking your form. In fact, it means becoming familiar with form in the first place. Making an appointment with a physical therapist to get started is a good idea if you have an injury. If you don’t, consider asking a personal trainer for help.
Keeping the twist out of exercise movements that don’t call for it is important because neck or back injuries can be brought on by rotation when the spine is also loaded. Examples include using free weights, where you’ll need to use core muscles and good trunk positioning to stabilize your posture, instead of almost having it done for you by a gym machine, and smaller workout aides such as a resistance band which will load your spine.
In general, remember that for good exercise posture, the head is an extension of the spine. It shouldn’t be positioned forward or back of the rest of your trunk, as this is an invitation to strain or sprain.