Rounded shoulders are usually an effect of working on the computer for long periods– long enough to develop a posture complication. It's one of the most common health issues in the working class.
This health issue happens when the muscles of your anterior shoulder tighten. This often results in weakened posterior muscles and a permanent slouch. But there’s no need to fret! We have curated 5 of the most effective exercises on how to improve posture rounded shoulders.
Last update on 2017-09-05 PST - Details
Causes of Rounded Shoulders?
One important step to improve posture rounded shoulders is learning about its different causes.
Aside from sitting on your desk for prolonged periods, there are several other causes link to rounded shoulders. You’ll be surprised to know that some of these causes are rather common habits. One such habit is slouching.
You can experience strained muscles and feel the further weakening of soft tissues when you slouch for sustained periods. This can develop into muscle tension and induce pain.
Other mannerisms that result to this health issue include cradling one’s phone, leaning on one leg, and hunching the neck for closer reading. It is a good idea to practice proper sitting and standing habits that promote how to improve posture rounded shoulders.
5 Exercises to Fix Rounded Shoulders
Here are the 5 exercises that can help you improve your rounded shoulders:
- Wall Slides
Wall slides are a great way to master how to improve posture rounded shoulders.
Start by standing with your back against the wall. Make sure that your entire back touches the wall. Move your feet forwards just a little bit and start lifting your hands over your head. Strive to move your forearms as close to the wall as possible.
Then, slide your arms in an “I” shape and drop them to a “W” shape. A set can consist of 10 reps. To achieve the best results, do this for 2 to 3 sets. If you think this exercise is too challenging for you, you can try doing it on the floor.
Doing this exercise will allow your upper body to be aligned, using the wall as a guide. Raising your arms upward would also guide your head at the right position.
Furthermore, this is a great exercise for people with tight chest and shoulders due to frequent slouching which is the primary cause of rounded shoulder.
A set can consist of 10 reps. To achieve the best results, do this for 2 to 3 sets. This exercise can be done daily, but your work schedule is hectic, 3 times a week will suffice. If you think this exercise is too challenging for you, you can try doing it on the floor.
- Scapular Push
You may need to work out your rotator cuffs and scapular stabilizers to get your shoulders back. If so, you can add a few sets of scapular pushes to your routine. You start off by doing a plank. This time, your hands should be beneath your shoulder blades rather than your shoulders. Start squeezing your shoulder blades together and release.
Randomly rotating your shoulders will not hit the right muscles to fix rounded shoulders. However, a scapular push will target the muscles that control your shoulder blades. As the name entails, scapular push exercise engages the scapular muscles that are usually not targeted with the average shoulder exercise.
As you perform the exercise, your shoulders will be pull backwards, releasing the tension from slouching and bad sitting position. This will also improve your overall posture as it requires you to sit straight and align your shoulders.
Do this repeatedly for 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps each. Because of the efficiency of this routine, it is recommended to include this in your daily workout routine. You can also do this at least 4 times a week with alternate days.
- Inverted Rows
This exercise is often called the “reverse bench press” because of the equipment used. This fun exercise is one of the most common exercises that can improve posture rounded shoulders.
You start by lying on the floor just a couple of feet under the bar, and then grabbing the bar with your palms facing opposite you. Make sure that you try to contract your abs and maintain a straight posture.
When you’re ready, pull up until your chest makes contact with the bar, and then lower yourself to your original grabbing posture, keeping your body as straight as possible.
This exercise has been proven to do wonders to your shoulder health. Also, it involves your upper back and shoulders which are the most affected area when one has a rounded shoulder and bad posture.
This full body exercise promotes a good posture since it requires you to straighten your back. Constantly doing inverted rows will train your mind and body to keep your shoulder back and chest up.
Try to do this in 3 sets of 10 reps. If your rounded shoulder is quite serious, and you are already a pro when it comes to strength exercise, you can do inverted rows daily until your bad posture is corrected. But for individuals who merely want to avoid rounded shoulders, doing this exercise 3 times a week is enough.
- Band Stretches
You can actually work out those rounded shoulders with the use of a durable elastic band. Slightly bend your knees and make sure that your feet are aligned with your shoulders. Your spine should also be aligned properly.
In a slow and steady manner, pull the waistband until your arms are spread and leveled with your torso. Pause for a while and return to your original position. Maintain the straightness of your arms throughout the entire exercise.
Using the band, you will have more freedom to stretch your limbs, specifically your arms. This will help release the tension on your shoulders. Furthermore, you can use the band like that of a seatbelt to remind you to sit straight. This routine is also used in yoga which is a well-known workout that improves rounded shoulder and posture.
Work this out for up to three sets of 10 reps. You can do band stretches every day and whenever you feel like you need to stretch and release fatigue. You can ever do this every morning right from the comfort of your own home.
- Supine T
This exercise is a good way to loosen those tight chest and shoulder muscles caused by prolonged work posture. To do this, you just have to lie on your back on a flat floor or with a comfortable roller along your spine. Assume a flat “T” position, bend your knees and make sure both of your feet lay flat.
This light exercise promotes a straight body without exerting much effort. Your head will be aligned with your spine and your back at its naturally arch. By bending your knees, you are allowing your guiding your back to be straightened as if you are sitting.
Do this exercise for at least 10 minutes every day to get the best result. Once your rounded shoulder is corrected, you can do this exercise every weekend when
How Can I Prevent Rounded Shoulders?
We have rounded up– no pun intended– some of the best tested and proven tips to prevent this shoulder complication from ever happening.
The one true key to effective prevention of rounded shoulders is to practice proper sitting and standing habits. These habits may sometimes be a little challenging, especially for those whose jobs are to sit countless of hours in front of the computer to perform a variety of operations.
The reason for this is that their muscles haven’t been conditioned or trained to supporting their bodies in the proper posture. Conditioning does take time, but it won’t be long before you can sit up and stand straight without the discomfort! Below are some great tips to help you in this process.
- Improve your Desk Set Up
If you really have to work on your desk and use your computer for long hours, it’s a good idea to improve your workplace set up. Get a comfortable office chair that will not only reduce muscle strain but can also boost your productivity levels. For one, your computer should be proportioned to your eye (monitor) and hand (keyboard) levels.
If you’re using a laptop, maybe it’s time to invest in a desktop computer to improve your work posture. Laptops may be incredibly convenient for people who have active work lifestyles, allowing them to work at any time or place, but these devices are also the number one cause of neck and back pains.
Stretching is a good way to prevent rounded shoulders. Since most of us are always glued to our seats due to a number of reasons, we rarely get the chance to treat our muscles with some TLC. Stretching comes in different degrees, targeting specific sets of muscles and body parts.
- Take breaks
Sadly, taking breaks in a busy workplace is often neglected. Whether you’re at home or in a stricter working environment, you must always find time to catch your breath and refresh your mind and body.
Taking 1 10-minute breather can actually go a long way in terms of increasing your energy levels and boosting your productivity. It’s also a good idea to shake the stress away for a short while. While you’re at it, you can do a little stretching to reverse the effects of improper desk posture habits which are seemingly unavoidable.
- Sleep in the Proper Position
Most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping. If you don’t condition yourself to sleep in the proper position, you may also spend most of your life suffering from rounded shoulders, as well as back and neck pain. The best sleeping position is lying on your back.
This way, you distribute all your weight more evenly, avoiding muscle strain. Stomach sleeping, on the other hand, is the worst. You can also invest in ergonomic pillows that will give you extra support.
Now that you’ve learned how to improve posture rounded shoulders, plus a bunch of other posture secrets, it’s only a matter of time before you improve your posture habits and aim for a more muscle-friendly lifestyle.Thank you for reading this article and don’t forget to share!