Have you ever faced upper back or neck pain due to using computers at work or school, or looking down at your smartphone or tablet for long periods of time? If yes, then there is a 100% chance you have rounded/hunched shoulders. Rounded or hunched shoulders are terms that describe an unusual forward position of the shoulders, which exaggerates the natural curve of the neck. Not only do these contribute to pain but they make you look bad as well.
How to know if you have Rounded/Hunched Shoulders
To know If you’re suffering from hunched shoulders, you can simply perform the following test. Stand up and put your arms at your side with your thumbs stuck out or extended. Then note the positioning of your thumbs. If your thumbs are pointing forward, then there’s nothing to be concerned about. However, if they’re pointing towards each other, then it is highly likely that you have rounded shoulders.
Causes of Rounded Shoulders
Slouching, hunching or poking your chin for a reasonably long time while sitting or standing can strain the muscles between the shoulder blades. With time fascia and these muscles get shorter in the front of the chest causing you to have rounded/hunched shoulders and ultimately, a bad posture. Other causes of rounded shoulders are excessively training chest muscles or front deltoids, driving a vehicle or carrying heavy objects all day.
How to fix Hunched Shoulders
Stretches and exercise can aid in fixing hunched shoulders. These stretches and exercises mainly work on joints, tight muscles which need to be stretched and weak muscles which need to be strengthened. The most common and effective stretches and exercise are:
The doorway stretch works on chest muscles and releasing tension from the upper back. To perform this exercise step towards a doorway and place your outreached hands on the door frame with your palms just a bit above the shoulder level. Then, without moving your feet, press your hands into the door frame and move your chest forward. You should feel the stretch on your chest.
Wall stretch is one of the popular ways of fixing this problem. You should start by standing with their head, upper back, lower back, and tailbone against a wall. The feet are to be positioned slightly away from the wall, whereas, the arms are pressed flat, where, the elbows at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for thirty seconds to a minute, which helps gently workout for the upper back and shoulders.
This exercise entails standing with holding a weight in your right hand. Go on to bend sideways to the left side hand. Hold the position for five seconds and repeat for 20 times. You can repeat the exercise on the other side as well.
Pull-ups or seated rows
If you have access to gym equipment, you can benefit from this exercise for rounded shoulders. You have to do seated rows or pull-ups with moderate weight. These exercises are also helpful for building strength in the chest and shoulders.