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Fitness Trainer Tip of the Day – How To Correct Posture and Rounded Shoulders

If you are like most Americans, you probably have rounded shoulders and poor posture. This is the result of years at a desk job, working at a computer or any other task where you are leaning or reaching forward. Through overuse, the anterior muscles shorten and become tight; while the posterior muscles weaken. In time, our shoulders round forward, our head protrudes forward, and some people even develop a hump in the upper back. Many individuals also develop chronic neck, back and shoulder problems.

How can we correct this? Through training to achieve structural balance. Avoid exercises where your arms are out front, such as a bench press and chest press. Rather, focus on pulling and rowing exercises that work the posterior muscles. Some examples are: the seated row, lat pull, cable rows, and upright row. Also, strengthening the smaller rotator cuff muscles is very important; especially the infraspinatus and teres minor. These are the muscles that externally rotate the shoulder and are often neglected. Seek out a professional trainer to learn how to properly train these muscles. If done incorrectly, you can do more harm than good.

What else can help? Become aware how you sit at your computer and how you walk and carry yourself throughout the day. Make adjustments to your desk so that your spine remains in alignment while working. As you feel yourself begin to slouch, stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, chest out, and pull your head back so that your ears are in line with your shoulders.

Between proper strength training and awareness, you can correct poor posture. Be consistent.

Sharon Powell

Personal Trainer of Tucson

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