Research shows that proper shoulder posture is crucial for your upper body health and wellbeing. Activities like sitting, standing, driving, exercising, and using smartphones, involves your shoulders doing them.

Although some people train their bodies to keep shoulders back, most people do not keep their bodies straight, leading to shoulder problems. The most common problem is a rounded shoulder. I will talk about it in this article, but first, you need to know that slouching at your office desk can cause neck, shoulder, and back pain.

The rounded shoulder position can cause the upper crossed syndrome, a condition characterized by tightened chest muscles and shoulder muscles. These muscles are major and minor pectoralis and levator scapulae.

What are Rounded Shoulders?

“Rounded shoulders” is a common term used to describe an abnormal shoulder posture. It refers to a resting shoulder position or move-forward position from the ideal alignment of the body. For instance, when you position your shoulder further forward than normal, this is called a rounded shoulder. It increased your upper back slouching, known as Thoracic Kyphosis.

Causes of Rounded Shoulders

There are several causes of poor shoulder posture. The most common among them are sitting in front of a computer for extended periods, reading or texting on your smartphone with your head down, and driving for a prolonged time in a bad posture.

Studies show that excessive overhead activities, weight training that involves your chest or torso, shoulder injuries, dysfunctions, and sleeping with a bad posture can also cause rounded shoulders.

Some activities like breastfeeding, carrying heavy backpacks, and cycling in poor posture can lead to rounded shoulders. Next, I will talk about exercises that will help you maintain good shoulder posture. Read on!

Doorway Stretch

Because your shoulders and chest get tight during prolonged sitting, the doorway stretch is an excellent exercise to loosen your upper body muscles. The activity also increases the range of motion in the pectoralis major and minor to avoid rounded shoulders. Here is how you can do the doorway stretch.

  • Align your hands and shoulders with a doorframe
  • Step through the frame slowly to feel the stretch in your shoulders
  • Stay in this position for at least 20 seconds
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat the exercise 3-5 times

Wall Slides

The lower trapezius is an important muscle that helps move and position your scapula. It also maintains your dynamic scapula stability. “Wall slide” is an excellent stretch to keep your shoulder posture and avoid complications of rounded shoulders. It strengthens your low trapezius muscles and focuses on the serratus anterior. Follow the steps given below to do this exercise properly.

  • Stand straight with your spine to the wall
  • Align your upper and lower back with the wall
  • Move your feet out about 10-12 inches from the wall
  • Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Point your hands toward your head
  • Press your arms against the wall
  • Slide your arms up toward the head and then back down
  • Perform at least ten repetitions in one set

Band Pull Aparts

Band Pull Apart is another beneficial exercise you can do at home to strengthen your shoulders and maintain good posture. The exercise focuses on your spinal muscles, including the Rhomboids and Mid Trapezius, which help bring your shoulder back.

The workout works on all major shoulder and upper back muscles. It helps strengthen your muscles and give them a desired shape and tone. Here are the steps to perform this exercise adequately.

  • Start the exercise in a standing position and make sure you maintain good posture
  • Hold a resistance band with your hands and keep your elbows straightened
  • Make sure your arms are in front of you and lock your elbows
  • Now, move your arms out and back behind the body
  • Feel contracting and squeezing between your shoulder blades and muscles
  • Make sure there is no pain in your neck and arms
  • Do not shrug your shoulders toward your ears
  • Perform at least ten repetitions in 2-3 sets

Reverse Shoulder Stretch

It is an excellent exercise that works on your chest and shoulders. The exercise opens up your shoulder muscles and maintains your biceps health. The workout requires you to have some shoulder flexibility. If you have pain in the shoulders, make sure you shorten the range of motion. Otherwise, the exercise won’t benefit you. Instead, it will lead to complications. Follow these steps to perform the reverse shoulder stretch.

  • Stand properly, look straight, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Keep your arms at your sides and hook, then hook them behind your back
  • Make sure your thumbs point toward the ground or floor
  • Open your chest while standing tall, and move your hands back toward the ceiling
  • Continue moving your hands until your feel a stretch in your biceps and shoulders
  • Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds and release the stretch
  • Do at least 2-3 sets 1-2 times a day to maintain your shoulder posture

Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch

Another great exercise, lateral flexion stretch, focuses on your scalene and trapezius muscles. These muscles play a crucial role in your shoulder and neck posture. Likewise, if you want to streamline your breathing, the lateral neck flexion stretch will get the job done. Here is how you can perform this stretch.

  • Sit or stand upright while keeping your shoulder back and down
  • Pull your right ear toward your right shoulders to get a stretch in the left side of your neck
  • Now, repeat the same steps for the other side – i.e., your left shoulder so that you feel stretch in the right side of your neck
  • Perform at least two sets on each side. Make sure you hold the stretch for 30 seconds

Final Words

Sitting and standing with good posture allows you to work efficiently and feel less strain or fatigue on your shoulder muscles. When you do these exercises regularly, you will have strengthened shoulder, neck, chest, and back muscles.