If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you have round shoulders.
Rounded shoulders are one of the most common postural problems. They not only make us look bad when standing up, but, overtime, they also put our bodies at risk.
Rounded shoulders are due in part to weak and tight muscles (which lead to muscle imbalances). But did you know that rounded shoulders are also part of a bigger problem? They are linked to poor posture.
Your posture is the result of the postural habits you have acquired from the early stages of life.
These habits influence movement, and movement in turn affects posture. So, what can we do to break this vicious circle? Before we dive into the solution, let’s break down the problem.
The “rotator cuff” is a term used to describe 4 muscles that primarily help stabilize the glenohumeral joint, aka the shoulder. To help stabilize the joint, the rotator cuff pulls the scapula (the shoulder blade) and the humerus (the arm bone) into each other and keeps them in place.
In the rotator cuff, various types of tears can occur. Several factors can contribute to these tears; the main cause of a rotator cuff tear is not muscle weakness. The real cause is of a postural nature and it starts with the brain 🧠 Here’s a quick breakdown of each muscle, where it’s located, and what it does.
Supraspinatus: Ends at the top of the humerus, and is susceptible to impingement.
Infraspinatus: Located below the spine of the scapula, and is responsible for external rotation and stabilization of the shoulder joint.
Teres minor: Located right next to the infraspinatus; it helps to externally rotate your shoulder when your arm is abducted to the side.
Subscapularis: The only rotator cuff muscle that performs internal rotation of the shoulder. It’s found on the inside of the shoulder blade.
Ok, so now that you understand the anatomy, what else can influence the positioning of this joint? Another characteristic of round shoulders is decreased mobility in the shoulders, which heightens the risk of shoulder impingement and even dislocations.
For example, round shoulders decrease the external rotation of the shoulder. Such restriction may prevent baseball players from achieving maximum throwing velocity.
The typical corrective exercise approach to correcting round shoulders is to stretch the muscles that are tight and strengthen those that are weak.
Among the muscles that are weak and need strengthening exercises are the deep cervical flexors, serratus anterior, rhomboids, mid-trapezius, lower trapezius, teres minor, and infraspinatus.
Among those muscles that are tight and need stretching exercises are the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, latissimus dorsi, teres major, subscapularis, pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor.
So now that we have gone through the muscles, let’s talk about what controls them … the brain!
In order to change your postural habits, you have to look at the parts of the brain that influence muscle tension. And it starts with your motor cortex.
The motor cortex is part of the frontal lobe. It has a great influence on the resting length tension of the muscle spindle.
As you can see in the picture on the left, the shoulders are slouched over and there is poor activation of the posterior chain.
Now, after working on the parts of the brain that control movement, along with corrective exercises, you can see in the picture on the right that the shoulders are now shifted back.
These results are easy to achieve for any trained Posturologist and are standard for such a treatment. Our program is based on three powerful pillars: sensory input, brain integration, and muscle output. Combine all 3 pillars to unlock a multitude of benefits like better posture.
By acting on your nervous system we can re-wire your body’s neuronal connections to process incoming data in a new way.
Look up posturepro.co to learn more about how you can help your clients achieve total alignment.
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