If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you have round shoulders.

APRIL 16 2018

And if you’ve had rounded shoulders for a long time, chances are you want to find a quick, permanent way to resolve the problem. There is such a way, one that often doesn’t involve any exercises or uncomfortable soft tissue work. Let’s take a closer look.

Poor posture is the culprit behind a variety of conditions including, ankle, knee, shoulder, hip, back pain, cervical pain, and headaches.

Round shoulders are an unnatural posture characterized by an exaggerated curvature of the upper back and often a forward positioning of the head. Exercise by itself may not be the solution to resolving this condition, and some exercises may even make it worst.

Unquestionably, the most popular exercise in the weight room is the bench press.

Those whose workouts focus on the bench press at the expense of other muscle groups are susceptible to having round shoulders due to the overdevelopment of the pectorals and the anterior (front) deltoids, muscle groups that when they contract can pull the shoulders forward.

Among the most common athletes who possess round shoulders are swimmers. Swimmers often have exceptional development of the upper back musclecalled the latissimus dorsi, which internally rotate the upper arm bones, and lack of development of the muscles that externally rotate the upper arm.

Boxers and wrestlers, who sport requires them to position themselves in a hunched over position, also frequently display rounded shoulders.Besides presenting an unhealthy appearance, there are many serious medical conditions that can result from having round shoulders.

According to the distinguished Spine Journal, 2006; 6:591-694, forward head carriage is the reason for accelerated degeneration of intervertebral joints resulting in degenerative joint disease (cervical osteoarthritis).

 

 

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Long term the misalignment of the cervical spineincreases the risk of osteoporosis and disk degeneration (cervical osteoarthritis). In the short-term, round shoulders cause chronic tension on the infraspinatus and teres minor, making these muscles more susceptible to injury.

Another characteristic of round shoulders is decreased mobility in the shoulders, increasing the risk of shoulder impingement and even dislocations.

Staying injury-free is essential for athletes to reach peak performance, but round shoulders is an unnatural posture that can affect optimal biomechanics in athletic movements.

For example, round shoulders decrease 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 include the deep cervical flexors, serratus anterior, rhomboids, mid-trapezius, lower trapezius, teres minor, and infraspinatus.

Among those muscles at are tight and need stretching exercises include the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, latissimus dorsi, teres major, subscapularis, pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor.

Here are a 3 effective exercises to prevent rounded shoulders:

#1- Reverse Elastic Flys
-Retract and depress your shoulder blades, while keeping your arms staright and extended in front of you.
-Pull the elastic band in opposite direction against it’s resistance.
-10 to 20 reps – 3 sets.

#2- “Y” Superman Raises
-Lie on your stomach both arms outstretched above you. To activate your lower traps, point your thumbs up
-Keep your lower body on the floor and raise theupper body of the floor. This will work on the shoulder muscles and back extensors.
-10 to 20 reps – 3 to 4 sets

#3- External Rotator Cuff
– Start with a light resistance band or cable. Make sure your arm is at 90˚and parallel to the floor. As you get stonger, use more resistance.
-Try to keep your elbow as close to your body as possible not to engage assisting muscles.
-10 to 20 reps – 3 to 4 sets

If you have round shoulders, give yourself a head start in resolving the problem by changing the way your brain communicates to your muscles. Corrective exercise and soft tissue treatment is sometimes necessary for those with extreme alignment problems, but Posturology is the fastest and most effective way of squaring round shoulders.

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