How do I fix my rounded shoulders?
Here are 5 exercises you’re not currently doing that will help build strength and correct your rounded shoulders.
Has anyone ever told you that you have Rounded or Slumped shoulders?
Maybe your upper back muscles always feel tight and achy and your chest feels super tight after sitting for any amount of time.
Slumped shoulders or better known as rounded shoulders is a pretty common issue with anyone who is living and breathing. If you see someone walking around with what seems like “perfect posture” it’s either genetic or something they are currently trying to be more active with correcting.
Most Americans fall outside of these two types of people.
And guess what..it’s okay to have a little slump to your shoulders. You’re not going to die but if you’re dealing with any persistent pain you may want to start paying more attention to how you carry your body.
I know first hand how lazy postures can make irritation worse when dealing with things like shoulder pain and chronic lower back pain. After rupturing my L5-S1 disc this is something I had to really take more serious.
You can jump into the video below to watch the video version of how to fix your rounded shoulders.
5 Exercises To Help Strengthen The Back (posture muscles) And Fix Rounded (Slumped) Shoulders.
Exercise #1: Scap Push-Ups
The Scap push-up is a great way to introduce movement in the shoulder joint along with the proper motion of the scapula which are the big blades that sit on each side of your upper back.
Often with slumped shoulders, these tend to be more protracted which means they are sliding towards the front of your body instead of being evenly set on the mid/upper back.
What to do:
The best way to approach the scap push-up is to get over the fact that it might feel and look weird. You’re not going to hurt yourself doing these wrong so give yourself some wiggle room to learn. I even have a hard time mastering the fluid motion of my scapula so it’s totally cool.
You can set a timer for 30-45 seconds and work on scap push-ups, forward rolls, and back rolls before moving on.
Exercise #2: Shoulder Field Goals
I call these “Shoulder Field Goals” and they are great for learning to activate and strengthen the muscles in the upper and mid-back. These muscles often get super tired and weak when you have a slumped shoulder (rounded shoulder) posture so this will be great for you.
What to do:
You really can’t mess these up if you watch the video and follow along with my coaching cues. One thing I will highlight is the need to keep your chest and chin down. What this is NOT is an exercise to engage the lower back into extension. We want that area to be as relaxed as possible and all of your attention to be on the mid to upper back.
Keeping the chin and chest flat on the ground will help with this end goal
A simple strategy would be to set a timer for 30-45 seconds and do 1-2 sets of this. You can also break it up into sets doing 1-2 x 10-15.
Exercise #3: Rear Delt Complex
This rear delt complex is an overall great exercise whether you’re trying to address rounded shoulders or just build more strength and size to your mid to upper back. I am sure you could think of a better name for this so if you have one make sure you leave a comment at the end of this post!
What to do:
This exercise hits a lot of different muscles in the shoulders and upper posterior chain. The key with this is to NOT compensate in any way and focus on contracting the entire upper posterior chain while you stabilize the shoulder blades.
Grab a lighter band and attach it in front of you grabbing the handles palms facing up. Keeping your arms relatively straight your going to bring down and back engaging everything from the lats to the delts.
You can do this for a set amount of time for more of an endurance approach or run a set and rep scheme that fits your goals and program. My suggestion would be to start with 2 sets of 12-15 reps.
Exercise #4 Banded Face Pulls
If you have spent any time researching rounded or slumped shoulder fixes you have probably seen this exercise a hundred times. I use this anywhere from warming up for my push and pull days to strategically building strength to help address poor posture. It’s just an excellent overall exercise you can and should add to your program.
What to do:
You can make it complicated by attaching to your rig at different angles to “hit the muscles a certain way” but I like to keep it simple and effective. So for this exercise, you can attach it a little higher than the top of your head and will be just fine.
Grab the band and make sure you have tension on the band before you start to pull. Get your shoulders in a healthy position (pulled down and back) and pull the band to the point where it hits your chin. You can play with the angle of your elbows to help with muscle recruitment but how well you feel it will depend on you and the angle you choose.
If you prefer elbows higher over lower let me know in the comment section at the end of this article!
Exercise #5: Band Pull Aparts
Alright, so we have made it to the end of the rounded shoulder fix strengthening program! This last exercise is another great overall recruitment exercise for the upper posterior chain. It’s very similar to the face pull just hitting these muscles in a different way.
What to do:
Use a lighter band and grab the band with arms straight out in line with your chest. Make sure you start with tension already on the band. Get your shoulders set and stable and initiate the exercise using the back muscles.
Separate or “pull apart” the band until you make a perfect T with your arms. Slowly return the band to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.
I like to do these in high reps so I will do 2 sets of 15-20 depending on how I want to structure my workout that day.
How To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders: Strength Training Program
Alright, so we have a solid selection of exercises you can now cherry-pick from to add to your program. What I want to do now is give you a few examples of how you can structure this targeted approach towards correcting rounded shoulders.
When should I use these exercises?
For starters lets not overcomplicate this. It’s all about shifting habits and starting to build strength and endurance around what you used to overlook. With that being said…
You can do them before or after each training session
You can do them on your off days and weekends.
You can do these every day before, during or after work.
Once you figure out what is obtainable for you can get started with the program below.
1 ==> Scap Push-ups 1 x 2 min (all directions should fit into these two minutes)
2 ==> Shoulder Field Goals 2 x 10-12
3 ==> Rear Delt Complex 2 x 10-12
4 ==> Band Face Pulls 2 x 15-20
You can swap out the last exercise with band pull aparts if you would like but since this is not meant to take the place of your traditional pull or back day 8 overall sets should be a good start.
Feel free to swap these exercises out or change the reps and sets as you work through them and find a better set up for yourself.
Don’t forget to share this with a friend! Help me spread the word!
What exercise do you think this article needs to include? Leave me a comment below!