Rounded shoulders are typically a result of poor posture, especially while sitting. When upright, humans have a better gauge of posture keeping our chest high with shoulders back. Unfortunately, sitting for periods of time causes most people to slouch and have rounded shoulders.
Since the advancement in technology and the increased use of cell phones, our postures have declined dramatically. I have seen more cervical tension and strain over the past several years than ever before. Shockingly, I am seeing this trend in younger and younger patients.
The increased screen time of all ages causes the population to be seated more than generations past. Add in a pandemic of epic proportion which sent most of the workforce to home offices, and now most of the country is sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours a day.
Benefits of Better Posture
Increased Energy – Better posture relieves tension from muscles and joints which allows your body to better combat fatigue
Less Neck Tension – Correcting rounded shoulders allows less strain and tension in neck muscles, thus reducing pain and headaches
Promotes Confidence – Standing taller improves mood and confidence to tackle your day
Exercises to Fix Rounded Shoulders
Neck Lateral Flexion Stretch – While sitting, gently bend your left ear to your left shoulder and repeat to the other side. Hold stretch on each side for 2 seconds. Repeat for 5 repetitions on each side. Alternatively, you could hold for 30 seconds each side, but only perform this task once per side. For an added stretch grab the underside of the chair on the opposite side you are leaning towards.
Lying I’s, T’s, Y’s – While lying on your stomach, place your arms over your head in an “I” position. Gently lift your arms off the ground, hold for 2 seconds, then lower back the ground. Next, place your arms in a diagonal or “Y” position and repeat the 2 second lift. Lastly, place your arms out to the side in a “T” position and lift for 2 seconds. Repeat this sequence for 5-10 repetitions.
Doorway Stretch – Place your arms and elbows in a doorway and slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat five times, or simply hold for 30 seconds once.
Wall Slides – Stand with your back against the wall. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees with fingers pointing toward the ceiling and place your arms flat against the wall. Slowly move your arms up above your head and back down, while keeping your arms on the wall and shoulder blades squeezed together. Repeat 5-10 times.
If any of these exercises cause discomfort of any kind, stop the exercises until talking with a healthcare professional. I wish you the best of luck and remember – Sit up straight.
Dr Spencer Charlet
for full text click here