The human head weighs roughly 12 pounds. But true as that fact may be, we don't all know the full story. It's time to get our heavy heads out of the dark so we can see the light.
The truth is that the human head only weighs 12 pounds if we have perfect posture. Considering most of us sit at desks all day with our necks craned forward, chances are most of us have posture that needs some (or a lot of) work, and have heads that are weighing us down. If you're a runner, you'll want to pay particular attention to this, especially since bad posture is making you slower.
For every inch you crane your neck forward and out of alignment, your 12 pound head gains 10 pounds!
Consider that in terms of running, an activity that's already hard enough on your body — the impact of every heel strike is equal to four times your body weight. So if you're already dealing with that weight and you don't have your head in proper alignment with your spine, you could potentially be adding 42-plus extra pounds to every step you take. Ouch!
You know that extra weight is creating some terrible future (and likely current) chronic problems for you, but in the short term, it's slowing you down. Way down.
Don't you want to have a personal best at your next race? You certainly train like you do. You eat right, do interval training, suffer while running up some nasty hills and get plenty of sleep. Essentially, you're doing everything right. But if you haven't considered where you hold your head both during the course of a regular day as well as out on your training runs, you're missing a giant piece of the puzzle.
Let's make that right, shall we?
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Supine Neck Curl
Lay on your back. Allow the chin to first jut up, then draw the chin down and lengthen the back of your neck neck. Next, curl the head and neck off the floor. Take 10 seconds to complete the routine. Repeat 6-12 times.
Lay on the floor with legs straight. Connect as much of the spine to the floor as possible. Inhale and draw the chin down towards the Adam's apple. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 6-12 times.
Shoulder Grip Stretch
Stand with feet firmly planted. Reach one arm over the head and the other behind the back. Attempt to grasp hands. If able, tug the top arm down and the bottom arm up. Hold 60 seconds. If unable to touch join the hands with a towel and add the tension up and down.
Implement these moves into your life today to live a healthier, faster, pain-free life. It's a matter of personal best or maintaining a mediocre plateau. Be exceptional.