Rounded shoulders are a common problem seen among patients for a physiotherapist. What are rounded shoulders? It is when the position of your shoulders become much more forward than their ideal alignment, while at rest.
Rounded shoulders are quite common as a result of the positions we place our bodies in on a regular basis. Many of our daily tasks will contribute to rounded shoulders when we forget to pay attention to how our bodies are positioned. Rounded shoulders can be a huge problem because it is a sign of bad posture and a disruption of muscular activity. But most importantly, rounded shoulders are not a good look.
What Is Happening With Your Muscular Activity?
With rounded shoulders, there is an imbalance in muscular activity. Certain muscles will be pulling the shoulders forward tightly, whereas other muscles will be not pulling the shoulders backward at all.
Do You Have Rounded Shoulders?
There are two simple tests you could perform at home to figure out if rounded shoulders are a problem for you.
1. Stand up. Make sure you are relaxed. Do not alter your posture from how it would typically be when you are standing up. Place your arms down by your sides. If your palms are facing behind you, then it is a sign your shoulders may be rounded.
2. Lie down on the floor, with your face facing forward. Keep your arms relaxed by your sides. If your shoulders rest on the floor, then you have passed the test. If your shoulders do not touch the ground, then it is another sign of rounded shoulders.
You Failed Both Tests – What Do You Do Now?
Now that you’ve figured out you may be a victim to bad posture. You don’t have to fret. There are a couple easy exercises that can help you fix the position of your shoulders.
1. Stand up against the wall, with your face facing the wall. Extend your arms as far out as possible – forming a T-shape with your body. Gently move your arms backward. Position your palms to be facing up. Hold this position for a little while. Slowly lower your arms back down to your sides.
2. Stand up straight. Place your arm straight across your body to reach the opposite side. Hold onto that arm with the other, pulling the arm gently. This will help stretch out the back of your shoulder. Hold this position for a little while then alternate with the other arm.
3. Stand up straight with your face facing the wall. Place both hands behind your back, with your palms over one another. Your palms should be facing opposite of the wall. Pull your shoulder blades together for up to half a minute. Continue this exercise 5-10 times.