I was going to do this video inside but it’s such a beautiful day so I headed outside and I’m going to do this video for you. Its late fall here so we’re getting fewer and fewer of these beautiful sunny days.
Best Exercises for Rounded Shoulders That You Can Do At Work
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
Now what I wanted to go through in this video was the question I got on my Exercises for Injuries Facebook fan page. It was from Mike and his question was:
“What can I do for rounded shoulders?”.
He works in an office and he has noticed that his shoulders have rounded with time and he is wondering what are some exercises that he can do at work while sitting at the desk in order to counteract that rounded shoulders.
There are three exercises that I would recommend:
#1- Opening up the collar bone
Opening up the collar bone (Front view)
What you are going to do is you are not rounded out or collapsed, you are nice and tall. What I’m doing is opening up my collar bones, relaxing, nice and tall and opening up. I am working on those muscles around shoulder blade and mid back. What I am looking at is a light stretch in the front of the chest so working on stretching the front of the chest and also strengthen the mid back area.
Because with the rounded shoulders what oftentimes ends up happening is there’s tightness in the front of the chest that rounds the shoulders and also there is weakness in those scapular muscles or shoulder blade muscles, the mid back muscles, and the thoracic extensors which are the muscles in the mid back that extend the spine.
You need to work all three of those by sitting nice and upright. Working on those thoracic extensors by opening up the collarbone or stretching the front but then we are also working on the shoulder blade muscles and the mid back muscles. I want to start off with this one and I’m going to do it with a 5 second hold and then relaxing. And then again, I’m going into a 5 second hold. After that 5 second hold becomes comfortable, I can progress to a 10 second hold then a 15 second hold and then a 20 second hold.
Before you get to the mid back tightener, open up the collar bone from the front and from the side it’s just this nice and upright and then I’m going to open up the shoulder blades holding it for 5 seconds. Relax, nice and tall, opening up, and then relax again.
Opening up the collar bone (Side view)
#2 – Mid Back Tightener
Mid Back Tightener (Front view)
I am taking my hands behind my head. I am going to bring those elbows back and I am going to tighten up that mid back and then relaxing. Once again, hold it for 5 seconds. So these steps are sitting nice and tall with hands behind head then opening up bringing the elbows back and working and tightening up that mid back area and shoulder blade area and then relaxing.
With bring the hand behind the back and bring the elbow back, we are once again stretching out that front of the chest but now we are kind of targeting stretching the lat muscle in a different way with the arm being in different position. And then we’re also targeting those three muscles in the mid back that we need to work on when it relates to activation, endurance and strength of that muscle in order to overcome that rounded shoulders.
I’m going through that mid back tightener from the side. So nice and tall, hands behind the head opening up, hold it for 5 seconds and then relaxing.
Mid Back Tightener (Side view)
#3 – Laced Fingers Over the Head
Once again, this one starts off me sitting nice and tall. I’m lacing the fingers, arms are straight and I am bringing the arms over head as high as I can and back down. Bring your arms over head and back down.
Laced Fingers Over the Head
So the other two, we are doing them for a 5 second hold and progressing from that 5 second hold. While with this one, we are bringing the hands over head for two seconds and bringing it back down. With this one what we are working on is we are lightly stretching the lats area with the arms over head but then we are really working on is with sitting up nice and tall we are working on those thoracic extensors. When we are bringing in the laced fingers over head, we are working on those scapular muscles through more ranges of motion in the shoulder. And also with that bringing of the laced fingers over head, we are working that mid back area more.
There you go Mike, give those three exercises a go:
- Opening up the collarbone
- Mid Back Tightener
- Laced Fingers Overhead
Give those a go throughout the day a couple times and what you will do is counteracting that rounded shoulders by loosening up the front of the chest and then also working those three groups of muscles in the mid back.
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Rick Kaselj, MS