Weekend Challenge: Cervical Positioner - Save Our Bones

Today we’re going to focus on aligning the cervical (neck) vertebrae, an important concept nowadays since forward head posture (FHP) is so prevalent.

As always, I have practiced this weekend’s exercise, and I can tell you that it feels wonderful! It aligns the head properly to correct and prevent the typical curved kyphotic posture that’s both unbecoming and bad for both your spine, neck, and overall health.

In addition, I share with you a ground-breaking study that reveals yet another benefit of good posture: increased independence as we age.

So let’s get started with this important exercise!


FHP is an insidious problem in our modern world. You may not realize it, but when you lean forward to look at your computer screen, smart phone, and any number of modern electronics, your head is thrust forward.

Also, poor posture, such as hunched shoulders and a misaligned pelvis force your neck to tilt forward.

Even a slight forward head posture adds stress and strain to your upper back and neck muscles, because the head is off-center. This is not a big problem if you do it a few times a day. But for many, FHP occurs dozens of time throughout the day, sometimes for hours (or even all the time!) causing misalignment and setting the stage for kyphosis.

Why Is Cervical Alignment So Important?

Chiropractors adjust the cervical vertebrae to relieve many health problems, especially the top two (C-1 and C-2). Known as the “atlas” and the “axis” respectively, C-1 and C-2 contain a large number of nerves that affect numerous body systems.

For example, C-1 misalignment has been implicated in depression, hormonal imbalances, ear infections, and even anxiety. When C-2 is out of place, issues such as chronic sinus trouble, fainting, eye problems, and allergies may result.

FHP can promote misalignment of the neck, setting the stage for a host of health-related problems. In addition, FHP distorts the normal curvature of the neck, leading to compressed breathing, muscle pain, and decreased circulation.

The Cervical Positioner helps align all cervical vertebrae (there are seven). It is a simple exercise, but don’t let that fool you. The Cervical Positioner is highly effective, especially when performed often throughout the day.


Like the exercises in Densercise™, the Cervical Positioner does not require any special equipment. You can even do it sitting down.

  • Bring your arms straight out to the side, as high as your shoulders.
  • Slowly bring your elbows in and down, palms facing out, and bring the backs of your hands in to your shoulders.
  • Slowly bring your arms down to your sides and relax. Repeat at least 3 times.

There are even more benefits associated with a properly aligned spine…

Good Posture Means Less Assistance With Daily Activities, Study Shows

In a Japanese study, participants (aged 65-94) were evaluated for spinal posture and independence in daily activities. After 4.5 years, researchers found that those who had good posture and spinal alignment retained their independence in contrast to the poor posture group, who showed increased dependence. 1

Aligned Cervical Vertebrae Are Crucial For Good Posture

Get The Most Effective Posture Exercises!

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1 Kamitani, K., et al. “Spinal posture in the sagittal plan is associated with future dependence in activities of daily living: a community-based cohort study of older adults in Japan.” The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. July 2013. 68(7): 869-75. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls253. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23359541

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Betzee

    I have noticed that, despite the past requests from numerous people in 2015 and earlier, you still didn’t provide a visual for people who are viewing this in 2017. Guess it doesn’t matter to you.

  2. Betzee

    Sure would have been nice to see this exercise done. Don’t understand it by how it is written.

  3. Sara Rivera

    Hi Vivian I singed out for Densercive months a go, How can I sing in so I can star doing exercises . Thank you.

  4. Kathie

    no idea what this exercise is.

  5. suseela

    Sorry to say I did not understand the movements of this exercise. Would like to see yo demonstrate. Will be very helpful.

  6. Ruth Hawkins

    please send visual it would be so much better thank you

  7. Mary Rose Hewett

    I need a visual with this to insure I’m doing it properly. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  8. swhite

    Hi Vivian
    Is there any chance that your Densercise program will eventually be available on DVD? Some of us older folks are not as computer savy as others so we prefer DVD’s. is this a possibility in the future?

  9. Eleanor Peed

    If we bring our elbows in and “down” how can we bring the backs of our hands to our shoulders? It doesn’t make sense. However, this comment section is to encourage interaction with the Save Our Bones community. so how do we contact Vivian?

  10. Annabelle

    Seems simple to me! Thank you Vivienne.

  11. Helen

    For those having difficulty in understanding instructions, as I did. I think it is the second exercise on this video. The first is also good.


    • Betzee

      This isn’t the exercise described by Vivian.

    • B Ean

      Thanks Helen, that’s a great help. Don’t understand why the confused didn’t want to click the link you posted if visual is needed ?

    • Lynn from St. Louis

      Thank you Helen. That helped a lot!

    • Treehouse in paradise.

      Wow. Great video, Helen. Thanks for posting. Lynn

  12. Gloria

    I agree that we need a visual for this one. I could not understand it either but thought I was dopey till I read others could not understand it .

  13. Betty

    Thanks Vivian I really appreciate this exercise as I have a forward head when I walk. A chiropractor told me that years ago but didn’t offer how to improve it except to hold my head back. I felt a pull back of the head with this exercise and will use it often. I showed it to my husband too as he has a slight slope to his upper back due to a back issue from birth.

  14. N.J.

    I don’t understand how to do this exercise and it seems lots of people agree on this fact. It’s so frustrating. So far 26 people have responded to this and Vivian has replied to 2 of the people who said they had no trouble doing it. What about all the rest of us who have asked for a simple explanation? Can you at least verbally tell us how to do the 2nd step?

  15. LynnCS

    Hi Vivian. Thank you for all you wonderful advise and free exercises. They have all been helpful. All except this one. I can’t figure it out but am doing what I can to keep my neck aligned. Thanks again, for all your help.

  16. Betty Robinson

    Please, Vivian, get us a video of this. I think too many of us are confused.

  17. LaVerne Clement

    Thanks Vivian, for the simple and easy exercise for my neck. It feels better already. My husband and I are both using it, we are in our middle 80’s.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am so glad this worked for you, LaVerne! It helped my neck feel really good right away, too. 🙂

  18. Richard

    I, too, would like to see a visual on this. Thanks

  19. Helen

    Thank you very much for this one. I found it easy to understand after reading
    it through a couple of times No pictures needed because it is so simple.
    I have a curvature of the spine and get frequent compression fractures in the middle
    of my back.. This exercise should help to strengthen my neck and back.
    Much appreciation.

  20. Millie

    Hi. I love your weekend challenges, but I cannot figure out how to do this one. I need a visual. 🙁

  21. Anne

    I always look froward to the weekend exercises and thank you!
    But I simply cannot figure out how to do this one so as to help the neck alignment. Could we have an image of someone doing it? What does it mean, palms out, elbows in, and how does this involve the neck? Hey, no one is perfect—but please maybe next weekend give us a re-do on this one, with a photo or even a stick figure drawing of how to do it. Thank you. Anne

  22. Anna Kidd

    I would to see a picture on how this exercise is done.
    This would be very helpful.
    Thank You

  23. Nancy Jean

    I agree with everyone who wrote that we need a visual! Trying to follow the exercise directions are near impossible. And if I may add…2 years ago I purchased the Densercize Program. Instead of sending me a DVD or booklet….it was emailed to me. In trying to do one of the exercises I gently lifted my head off the floor and felt something in my neck. It’s not been right since. I also immediately developed vertigo which I’ve never had before. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor every 2 weeks to try to correct the damage. If you’re going to tell someone to do a neck exercise I think you should SHOW specifically HOW it needs to be properly done while giving warnings. Otherwise people can seriously hurt themselves like I did. I’m not trying to be negative but only offering a warning to prevent anyone else from experiencing what I did. Please be very cautious when doing any back or neck exercise.Thank you.

  24. patrice

    Thanks Vivian for all you do to help our bones. I too need a visual to make sure I am doing this correctly. Thanks.

  25. joy markman

    Sorry Vivian, I didn’t understand how this exercise is done. Please send us visuals.
    Thanks for everything.

  26. Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

    I am sorry for any confusion regarding this exercise! To clarify: The Cervical Positioner is intended to bring the cervical vertebrae into alignment, which is evidenced by the ears being directly over the shoulders. This ear-shoulder alignment should happen as you perform it – doing this near a mirror might help. 🙂

  27. June

    I practised in front of a mirror and agree with others that this latest challenge exercises the upper back muscles, not the cervical spine area.
    It will strengthen the upper back and help you keep your shoulders back but you should make sure your head is not poking forward.

  28. Virginia Baker

    I agree with all the above comments…..Thanks,

  29. Carla

    I’m confused; almost certain that I’m doing this incorrectly. This seems to involve only my shoulder muscles. I think we need visuals and more instruction as to the position of the head/neck. Again, much gratitude for all you do!

  30. Ruth Remley

    I tried quite a few times online & phoning to purchase your “Save Your Bones” book without success.

  31. Pam

    I would really love to see this done as well.

  32. Helen

    Hi Vivian
    On Saturdays I always look forward to getting your Weekend Challenge e.mail however this one has really challenged me. I am puzzled by the instructions & wonder if there is any chance that we could have the demonstration as normally happens please? Thank you for all your hard work in providing us with these weekly challenges – I really appreciate them & find them so helpful.

  33. Lanie

    Vivian, thanks so much for this and all the valuable info you provide, I, too, as a ‘visual learner’ am having trouble understanding how to do this; pictires would be helpful..


  34. Eileen

    Hi Vivian I would like to see this exercise as I don’t understand its movements.


  35. Lynn Hopkins

    Hi Vivian. It would be helpful to see this exercise performed as you usually send the weekend exercises with a demonstration. I find it so easy to follow that way. Thanks for your help and interest every week. Lynn.

  36. LYNDA

    This exercise seems to focus on the thoracic vertebrae not the cervical ! It doesn’t bring the neck into alignment and there is no instruction to do this before commencing the exercise. You can do the whole thing with your head poked forward.

  37. Elaine Yentob

    Sorry Vivian but I really need to see this exercise to understand and be able to to it properly please send out a video of it otherwise one risks doing it incorrectly.

  38. Annammarie

    I found .
    shoulder exercise to strengthen the neck muscles by using my arms very interesting I have pins and needles in 3 of my vingers on both hands, so I am going to try the exercise I am 72years . Thank you

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I hope you enjoy this exercise, Anna Marie!

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