If you are sitting a lot at your desk or you are a bodybuilder working a lot on your chest, you will probably have two things in common: a rounded back and rounded shoulders.
You might think that this is not a big deal, but it can lead to issues like back, neck and shoulder pain and even headaches and breathing difficulties besides other health complications. So before any of these things happen, why don’t we try to fix the problem?
As is the case with many other postural issues, the problem is often caused by an imbalance between the muscles that move your joints in different directions. Each joint has a pair of muscles working together to be able to make movements in multiple directions, which are also called agonists and antagonists. When it comes to your shoulders, one muscle group pulls them forward (chest muscle), while another moves them backwards (trapezius and rhomboids). So if your chest muscle is overly active and your back muscles are weak, your shoulders will end up rounded forward.
In this case, it is important to strengthen your back (rotator cuff, trapezius, serratus anterior, rear deltoids and rhomboids) and stretch out your chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor).
Exercises to beat the hunch
To strengthen your back, integrate the following exercises into your routine:
- Seated row with Dyna-band or bent over row with weights
- Reverse Fly with Dyna-band or weights
- External (outwards) shoulder rotations with Dyna-band
- Inverted bodyweight row (hold on to bar or table)
- Squeezing your shoulder blades together whenever possible (imagine that you are holding a credit card between both of your shoulder blades)
To open up your chest, integrate the following stretches into your routine:
- Interlace your hands behind your back and open up your chest
- Place one hand on a wall or in a door frame then turn your body away
Overcoming postural issues will not happen overnight, but you can be sure that these exercises will be an investment into your future. For more guidance, feel free to hire a personal trainer or get in touch with us!