Shoulders are rounded if they have moved forward from the normal body alignment. This condition is caused by any activity that requires someone to lean forward or look down for a long time, such as using a computer or a cellphone, driving, and carrying heavy loads. They contribute to bad body posture, and if they are not treated early, they can worsen.
Luckily, fixing rounded shoulders is relatively easy. There are simple exercises that, if done every day, can keep the shoulders in their correct position. They can also help relieve the pain that comes while doing those activities.
What Exercise Should Be Done
1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This exercise tells the body that it is good to maintain a good posture throughout. It also gives it the strength to carry out activities the whole day. It is pretty simple to do. You move both of your shoulder blades simultaneously, like when trying to grasp a tennis ball. The shoulders should be moving away from your ears and downwards. The exercise can be done repeatedly, and each interval should take approximately ten seconds. It can be done daily.
2. Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch
The stretch targets two neck muscles, scalene and trapezius muscles. The two play a significant role in the breathing and posture of the neck and shoulders. Like the first one, this stretch is also simple to do. It can be done while you are standing or sitting. Whichever position is convenient for you. Follow these steps.
• Grasp and gently pull your right ear into your left shoulder. This should stretch the neck from the right side.
• Do the same with your left ear.
• You can repeat the process severally and while doing so, ensure you hold for about fifteen seconds.
3. Chest Doorway Stretch
It is one of the most effective rounded shoulder exercises you can engage in. As it opens the chest, it also stretches the shoulders properly. To do it, please follow the procedure below.
• Stand between a doorway.
• Place your elbows at 90 degrees and let your upper arms rest on either side of the doorway.
• Slowly lean forward until you can feel some stretch in your chest. Remain in the position for a few seconds.
• Lean back to release the muscles a bit.
• Repeat the procedure three or more times. You can do this twice a day.
4. Band Pull-Apart
This exercise aims at stretching the rear and upper back of your shoulders and the chest. It would be best to have a resistance band whose strength matches your strength. You do not want to use something too hard or soft on you. Here is how you do it.
• Stand straight with your feet slightly apart
• Hold the band between your arms at a reasonable and stretchable distance
• Pull the hands apart slowly until you cannot stretch any longer
• Slowly bring back the band to where you started
• Do this ten to fifteen times a day.
5. Scapular Wall Slides
The primary purpose of scapular wall slides is to restore the scapula’s normal alignment. They also help in keeping your shoulder muscles flexible. They work the same way as wall slide exercises. Below is how they are done.
• Lean your back against a wall. Ensure that your upper back, head, and glutes touch the wall. Your feet should, however, be slightly apart from the wall.
• Raise your arms and place them against the wall. The palms should be facing out and your knuckles in contact with the wall.
• Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and move your arms up the wall. Ensure your other parts of the body remain in the same position.
• Move your arms down once they have reached maximum height.
• Repeat the same for at least ten laps.
What to Pay Attention to During Exercise?
1. Ensure You Use Correct Warm-Up Exercises
Before starting any exercise, preparing your body for it is crucial. Warm-up exercises help elevate the heart rate and warm your muscles, making them more flexible for stretching. Some of these exercises include light jogging and brisk walking.
2. Cool Down Appropriately
It is wrong to exercise without taking healthy breaks continuously. They help remove lactic acid from the body and encourage blood flow.
3. Exercise Properly
Always ensure that you do the exercises the way they are supposed to be done. It helps avoid unnecessary injuries. Also, you will reap the maximum benefits from them. Therefore, follow the steps of each exercise without skipping any of them.
4. Have Fun
The only way to stay committed to the exercises is by having as much fun as possible while you do them. If they feel like a struggle from within, there is a likelihood you cannot hold on for long. So, pick the ones you find exciting and stick with them.
What to Pay Attention to in Your Daily Life?
As early stated, rounded shoulders come from doing something for a long time without taking some time off. It can be driving, watching a movie, browsing through your phone or computer, and bending over. So, to avoid this condition, you only need to do a simple thing. Ensure that you take enough breaks since some of these activities are unavoidable.
For instance, if you are a long-distance driver, chances are you may spend 80 percent of your time behind the wheels. However, for the sake of your health and to avoid rounded shoulders, you will have to take breaks and engage in the above-discussed exercises.
Anyone who remains inactive for a long time can face a rounded shoulders problem. However, the solution is not far-fetched. Simple exercises such as wall slide exercises can help prevent and correct them. So, ensure you do them daily.
You might want to read: How to be Flexibility