Exercises And Stretches To Improve Posture Rounded Shoulders
If you notice your upper body hunching forward while looking in the mirror, you are likely to be suffering from rounded shoulders or upper crossed syndrome.
The underlying problem in this condition is weekend shoulder or back muscles that can be due to multiple reasons.
Besides displaying an unhealthy appearance, there are many severe medical infirmities that can happen due to rounded shoulders such as chronic tension on the teres minor and infraspinatus muscles, making these group of muscles more sensitive to trauma.
According to HealthLine, the worst feature of round shoulders is reduced mobility in the shoulders that raise the risk of shoulder inflammation and even dislocations.
Everyday tasks that may contribute to the development of rounded shoulders include chronic use of a computer or laptop, using a smartphone, driving a vehicle, sitting for long periods, and carrying heavy objects all day.
The signs of rounded shoulders can include
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Upper back pain,
- A hunched posture
To return your shoulders to their original position, you have to develop a healthy stretching and exercise routine.
A majority of these activities only take a few minutes and can have a permanent impression in just a week.
Also, consult your doctor or physiotherapist to consider medical treatment options.
The most effective exercises to correct rounded shoulder include;
It is a simple exercise and can be performed daily. This basic workout helps build strength throughout the day and suggests the body what healthy posture feels like.
- Stand upright with the hands by the sides. Reach your hands behind your back to clasp them together.
- Pull the shoulders back gently while not allowing your neck to push forward.
- The shoulders must be drawn back until the chest opens and a deep stretch is felt. You should perform this exercise for 2-3 times daily.
Door Chest Stretches
Just like shoulders, the chest needs to be stretched to keep your posture straight. One simple step to do this requires the use of a doorframe.
- Stand straight in front of a doorframe. Stretch your arms wide open and place both hands on either side of the frame, just above head height.
- Move one foot forward and gently push yourself past the doorframe. It will help stretch the shoulders and chest.
- Hold this position for a good couple of seconds and repeat.
The Wall Stretches
It is one of the most significant stretch exercises for rounded shoulders. It also help correct poor posture of the shoulders as well as upper and lower back muscles.
- Stand upright with your head, upper back, lower back, and tailbone against a wall.
- Press your arms flat against the wall, holding the elbows at a 90-degree angle and position your feet slightly away from the wall.
- Held this position for 30 seconds to a minute to provide a gentle stretch for the shoulder, neck and upper back muscles.
The T stretch
This effective exercise is best done in the night, just before sleeping or in the morning, just after waking.
- Lie flat on the back with feet flat on the floor such that your knees will be bent at 45-degree angle.
- Palms facing up, extend your arms to the sides of the body. This position allows a slight stretch in the shoulders and back.
- Held yourself in T stretch state for up to 5-10 minutes each day.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This basic exercise gives you better awareness of good posture and strengthens the shoulder blade muscles, which restrict your shoulders from arching forward.
- Stand still and bring both shoulder blades together by moving your chest forward.
- Try holding a tennis ball between them and put pressure on it as you squeeze. Chose the appropriate size of the ball.
- Hold for 10 seconds and repeat it 3 to 4 times daily.
Soft-Tissue Chest Massage
This move relaxes your chest muscles, which is crucial because when they are tight, they tend to lean shoulders forward, thus worsening your hunch. A tennis ball therapy is the best soft tissue massage you can use to relax your tight muscles.
- Take a tennis ball or lacrosse ball and put it between your pectoral muscles, just underneath your collarbone and inside your shoulder bone.
- Gently lean opposite to a corner of a wall, with your face in the space and chest resting against the ball on the wall.
- Lightly press your body with the wall and massage around this area. If you notice a tender spot, let the weight of the ball press against that knot to release the tightness.
Just like “T” stretch, supine T is an excellent chest-opener exercise to do before you go to sleep or in the early morning, It also helps to loosen tight pectoral muscles, which are causing your shoulders to lean forward.
- Sit on your back with your feet flat on the floor such that the knees bent at 45 degrees. Consider yourself making a human chair.
- Form a “T” with your body by opening the arms to the side with your palms facing down. You can enhance the stretch by putting a foam roller or rolled towel parallel to your spine. Perform this exercise for 5-10 minutes each day.
- You should focus on keeping your head and hips on the towel or roller if you are using one.
This exercise comes under the category of workouts that require a “resistance band”. It is known to strengthen the muscles in your neck, shoulders and upper back, which stimulates precise alignment in the shoulders.
- Fasten a resistance band to a piece of furniture or doorknob at waist level.
- Grasp the edges of the band and move a few feet away, with your hip distance apart and feet parallel to each other.
- Bend your knees and hold your torso at 90 degrees with an elongated spine (you can use a stability ball or chair to enhance the results).
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and start to bend your elbows behind your waist, then gradually return to your original position. Begin with 10 reps, and increase the frequency as you get used to it.
If you need more resistance, move farther away from the anchor point; and move closer if you want less resistance.
Treating rounded shoulders does not complete with stretches and exercises. You have to adopt certain habits that help you follow the right posture at all times. For example;
- Don’t sit for too long in the same posture.
- Make a correct neck-shoulder angle while using a laptop or smartphone to keep the rounded shoulders from coming back.
- Take a break for 5-10 minute after every hour during a constant work. It will help you relax your shoulder muscles and prevent rounded shoulders.