One of the most common cases I see in my practice is rounded shoulders.
Rounded shoulders are very indicative of someone who spends hours slouched over their desk. Because of this slouched position, your rhomboids and traps become very weak thus making your shoulders become rounded.
Rounded shoulders have become the “New Posture” of today. This postural epidemic is affecting evryone from our youth to older adults. In the last 5 years, I’ve seen so many teens with this posture who are also suffering from carpal tunnel. All steming from the overuse of technology.
So What Are Rounded Shoulders?
Rounding of the shoulder happens when your anterior (front) shoulder muscles become too tight, causing your posterior(back) muscles to weaken over time. This weaking of the muscles causes a permanent slouch giving you a hunch like posture. forward whenever you’re sitting or standing in a relaxed position.
How Do I Know If I Have Rounded Shoulders?
One simple way to see if you are suffering with rounded shoulders is to stand in front of a mirror with your arms relaxed by your side. If your palms face behind you, this shows your anterior(front) shoulder muscles are tight, thus resulting in rounded shoulder.
Rounded shoulders also give way to forward head posture which can become a chronic condition with such symptoms as tension headaches, jaw clenching and loss of productivity in the workplace. Rounded shoulders are not just a characteristic of someone who’s been in an office all day. But common amongst those who are lifting weights, especially our gym friends who are benching heavy.
Why Benching Heavy Weights Can Lead to Rounded Shoulders
The pec muscles are the primary muscle groups worked when bench pressing. The lats are the secondary muscle group that is worked when bench pressing. These two muscle groups when tight can causing rounded shoulders.
When rounded shoulders go unattended or untreated it can lead to chronic neck and shoulder pains or that lovely “hunchback” posture or kyphosis.
If you are dealing rounded shoulder it is a physical impairment(s) that can be treated with stretching and therapeutic exercise. All you need is a resistance band and a few minutes of time to correct your poor posture. This exercise is ideal for someone who spends too much time hunched over their computer/smartphone or benching heavier weights.
This exercise is called, Band Pull Apart. Helps to strengthen your rhomboids and upper traps to bring those rounded shoulders back. Giving you a more confident posture. There is also external rotation of the arms. Which will also help with those dealing with any type of rotator cuff issues.
To perform this exercise:
- Take a resistance band and extend your arms in front of you, holding the band with your hands
- Pull the bands back in a reverse fly motion until scapula (shoulders) touch. Hold for 5 seconds. DO NOT OVER SQUEEZE MUSCLE!!!
- Slowly return to the starting position.
Perform 3 sets of 12-15 .
Say goodbye to office posture. This is a simple, yet exercise that can really help to transform your posture and end chronic neck, back and shoulder pain.