How to fix rounded shoulders

Rounded shoulders are a common problem nowadays that affect a lot of people. In fact, if you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you have rounded shoulders.

Today we´ll learn how to fix rounded shoulders through stretching and exercise. It’ll take time to fix your shoulders, don´t expect to correct them just in a couple of sessions.

What causes rounded shoulders?

Rounded shoulders are typically caused by: 
  1. Poor posture habits like looking at computers at work or at school, or looking down at smartphones and computer tablets. Any activity that causes the body to look down and forward for long periods of time can contribute to slumped shoulders. Over time this postural adaptation causes the muscles and fascia to get shorter in the front of the chest. This continuous bad posture results in muscular imbalances between the muscles that pull the shoulders forward and the muscles that pull the shoulders backward. When we slouch, the shoulders roll forward and the neck follows suit, craning ahead of our bodies. This shortens the muscles of the chest and weakens the scapular (upper back) muscles, setting the stage for a hunchback appearance.
  2. Sleep posture can leave you achy if you’re not properly positioned. If you’re a side sleeper, use a pillow that keeps your spine aligned by supporting your head so that your neck isn’t held at an awkward angle. Also, when you lie on your side, your top knee drops, pulling down on your back, so place a pillow between your knees to stay aligned.
  3. Focusing too much on certain exercises: the most popular exercise in the weight room is the bench press. Those whose workouts focus on the bench press at the expense of other muscle groups are susceptible to having rounded shoulders due to the overdevelopment of the pectorals and the anterior (front) deltoids, muscle groups that when they contract can pull the shoulders forward. while neglecting the upper back.
Besides presenting an unhealthy appearance, there are many serious medical conditions that can result from having rounded shoulders. In the short-term, round shoulders cause chronic tension on the infraspinatus and teres minor, making these muscles more susceptible to injury. Another characteristic of round shoulders is decreased mobility in the shoulders, increasing the risk of shoulder impingement and even dislocations. In the long-term misalignment of the cervical spine increases the risk of osteoporosis and disk degeneration (cervical osteoarthritis).
Stretch the muscles that are tight and to strengthen those that are weak will help correct rounded shoulders.

Test to determine if you have Rounded shoulders

  1. Stand up in normal posture in front of a mirror.
  2. Keep your arms relaxed by your side.

If your  palms are facing backward  it may indicate that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back.

how to fix rounded shoulders

If this is the case, and you  have rounded shoulders, then you need to stretch tight muscles:

  • Pec major/minor
  • Subclavius
  • Subscapularis
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres major
  • Upper trapezius
  • Serratus anterior
and you need to strengthen weak muscles because they are not pulling the shoulder back into a neutral position:
 
  • Mid/lower trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Posterior deltoid
  • Rotator cuff

It is important that we first release tight muscles to enable the shoulders to be re-positioned correctly. Here´s what we´re going to do to fix your rounded shoulders:

30-60 seconds

30-60 seconds

30-60 seconds

30-60 seconds

30-60 seconds

Now your shoulders should be feeling much more flexible. Next step, you need to strengthen the muscles to keep your shoulders in the correct posture.

3 sets

15 reps

3 sets

15 reps

3 sets

15 reps

3 sets

15 reps

3 sets

15 reps

3 sets

15 reps

Now that you know the formula to fix rounded shoulders, remember that it can take time to correct them. Just as rounding them didn’t happen overnight, it will likely take some time to correct them. 

Want this routine and more cool workouts always handy?

Download our free app

17 thoughts on “How to fix rounded shoulders”

  1. Thanks for this post, Chape! I definitely have rounded shoulders (though not as bad as I once did), so this info is going to help me. I already tried most of the stretches you covered in this post, and I found that I was very tight when I performed the upper limb fascial nerve stretch; looks like I’ll have to do that stretch repeatedly to loosen up.

    1. That stretch is hard because it targets the fascia. Good news is we can do it every day and it gets easier 😅 Also, don’t forget to strengthen the weak muscles. The exercises are easy and help a lot 💪

    1. Muchas gracias, Estrella 😊 Anímate que los ejercicios son fáciles y divertidos. Seguro que ni siquiera sudas 💪 Un abrazo!!

    1. I strongly recommend this routine :) I bet you write and work for long periods every day, and I´m sure this will help you correct your posture. Let me know how it works for you ;)

  2. Chape, you continue to share great advice about fitness and this is no exception. I didn’t even realize rounded shoulders was a “thing!” Thanks for breaking down the exercises into manageable steps!

    1. Thank you, I try tu be useful :)
      Many people think their shoulders and upper back are that way, naturally. But rounded shoulders is a “thing”, causes pain, and can be corrected.
      Big hug!

Your turn. What do you think about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rest 40 seconds

0

Have you already downloaded our free app?

Rest 30 seconds

0

Rest 60 seconds

0

Rest 90 seconds

0

Rest 120 seconds

0