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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Test to determine if you have Rounded shoulders
- Stand up in normal posture in front of a mirror.
- 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.
If this is the case, and you have rounded shoulders, then you need to stretch tight muscles:
- Pec major/minor
- Latissimus dorsi
- Teres major
- Upper trapezius
- Serratus anterior
- Mid/lower trapezius
- Posterior deltoid
- Rotator cuff
Here´s what we´re going to do to fix your rounded shoulders:
It is important that we first release tight muscles to enable the shoulders to be re-positioned correctly.
Aim to practice these stretches for 30-60 seconds:
If you have completed all of the above exercises, your shoulders should be feeling much more flexible. Now, you need to strengthen the muscles to keep your shoulders in the correct posture.
Perform 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. Rest one minute between sets.
Now that you know the formula for how 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.
Any questions? Leave me a comment down below.