Maintaining good shoulder posture is as important as eating right, exercising, and a good night’s sleep for keeping the body fit and healthy. Proper alignment of shoulder (broad shoulder) also plays an important role in physical appearance and personality of a person. However, modern day lifestyle has taken its toll on shoulder posture.
Rounded shoulders is not surprising because majority of people are engrossed doing desk work, whether it be typing or working in front of computer with arms resting on desk for long period of time. Round shoulder can cause pain between the shoulder blades and neck, besides headache and breathing problems.
The best way to fix rounded shoulders is to prevent them from happening in first place. However, if you already have rounded shoulders, you can do exercises precisely crafted for correcting the abnormal posture.
Common Causes Of Rounded Shoulders
Rounded shoulders are postural defect in which the shoulders are drawn forward with anterior extension of neck and chin.
Rounded shoulders develop when the muscles of neck and upper back are overstretched and strained. The chest muscles become short and muscles located between the shoulder blades weaken. The smaller muscles attached to shoulder blades are not intended to be muscles contributing to postures and therefore over stretching and strain make them weak.
There are many factors which can cause rounded shoulders, the main reason being tightness of chest muscles and weakness of back muscles.
One of the main reasons of rounded shoulder is sloughing. It leads to internal rotation of shoulders, head forward and tightening of pectoralis minor muscle situated in the chest. This postural defect usually begins to develop early in life. Both males and females are equally affected. Below are given some of the predisposing factors responsible for rounded shoulder:
- Sloughing and sitting in front of computer for long period of time.
- People doing workouts mainly focused on developing biceps and chest muscles, neglecting the muscles of back.
- Mental stress and anxiety.
- Past history of shoulder injury.
- People who drive constantly for many hours since years.
- Breastfeeding mothers and those who carry the child constantly.
- Young girls who attempt to hide their developing breast.
How To Fix Rounded Shoulders?
Rounded shoulders are result of bad posture. If detected early they can be corrected easily and faster. However, if they are since long time, they can be corrected with suitable exercise program.
- Avoid working for long hours in front of a laptop in hunched position for long period of time. Take breaks in between and do some normal stretches of hand and back.
- While doing a workout, do not focus only on bench press and bicep curls but also do exercises which strengthen the back muscles.
- Young girls should avoid keeping their shoulder and back straight instead of bending the shoulder in forward direction.
Exercises To Correct Rounded Shoulders
Yoga exercise and various other forms of exercises help to achieve better shoulder posture and at the same time prevent rounded shoulder from happening in first place.
Scapular wall slides: It is an exercise which helps to strengthen back muscles and correct rounded shoulders. Steps to perform it:
- Stand erect with your back against the wall. Place your feet little outside and not attached to the wall so that you can stand easily.
- Keep your chin low and inside.
- Place your hands on the wall with your elbow at 90 degree.
- Remain in this position for few minutes.
- Do it several times in a day.
Hands bound at the back:
- Stand straight with your hands resting on the sides.
- Fold your arms and hand behind your back.
- Grip your left elbow with right hand. And right elbow with left hand.
- Start taking deep breaths for few minutes.
- Pull out your chest and keep your shoulder blades downwards.
Repeat it three times.
Yoga camel pose:
- Take a chair.
- Kneel down on the floor with your back facing the chair.
- Maintain one feet distance between your feet.
- Now catch the chair with your hands and bending slightly backwards.
Breathe in and out slowly for few minutes