Considerations for Exercise in the Gym Copy

  • Avoid any forward-bending exercise or any muscle-strengthening machines that pull the body forward.
  • With any exercise, ensure that the back is stabilized and supported
  • Avoid stationary bicycles and spinning classes which encourages sustained forward flexion
  • Free weights are often superior* to machines because they add components of balance and coordination to the exercises.

*this applies under the following presumptions:

  1. The exercises have been taught with proper form
  2. The person has sufficient strength to control the entire movement without trick movements or compensations which are risky
  3. Any transitions with the weights (ie., lifting them up or placing them down) is
    done safely
  4. Any of the previously restricted movements are not performed with weights


Kyphotic posture Spinal extension – strengthen erector spinae muscles
Scapular protraction and medial rotation of arm Scapular stabilizers – strengthen Stretch – pectoral major/minor muscles; latissimusdorsi
Forward head posture Postural alignment correction (could be tight suboccipital or weak erector spinae or SCM or any combination)
Hip flexion contracture or shortening Strengthen hip extensors Stretch hip flexors
Increased lumbar lordosis May be multiple contributors needing to be addressed: -tight hip flexors -weak hip extensors -tight back extensors -weak abdominals

A Comment on Using Free Weights:

Lifting overhead is not recommended for someone with OP. However, if they can lift in good alignment and maintain trunk stability, then lifting weight overhead is relatively safe. The way that a weight is lifted is just as important as the lifting itself.