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How to Fix Hunched Forward Shoulders

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How to Fix Hunched Forward Shoulders
Photo (under license) – © endostock –

Does this image strike a chord? If you spend your day doing something like this, you are setting yourself up for problems and pain later on. You’ll also end up with that curved back/drooping neck look that is not sexy…. and never will be.

It’s a curious predicament we find ourselves in. We were not really built for the modern world the way it is currently: We are still running the ‘hardware” of the hunter-gatherer, but are now in the age of the computer. Instead of running the plains in search of food, our lives are predominately spent with our hands doing something in front of us, our heads leaning forwards (straining our neck muscles) and our shoulders rolled in and forwards. Our bodies gradually adjust their shape to what we do all day…

As we have spoken about before, we need to find a balance in everything we do. The shoulder girdle is a the most mobile joint in the whole body. This is great for handstands but potentially dangerous if we do not put the time into making sure our shoulders are properly stabilized.

The first step is of course to fix our posture at the computer. Laptops are causing a ton of neck and shoulder problems because the screen is way too low down, being attached to the keyboard. Anatomically speaking, the laptop is a terrible idea. The best fix is to get a separate mouse and keyboard and then put a box or something under the laptop so that the top of the screen is at eye height. Your back should be straight and your head level when you are working at the computer.

Once you have established good ergonomics at work, then there is the whole topic of correcting your posture with exercises, which involves stretching in a manner that is effectively the opposite of the hunched position. Trainer Aaron Alexander shows us a great technique in the video.

Standard gym workout techniques might seem like a good thing but are in some cases poorly thought out. Think about the exercises most people do in the gym after spending a day of rolling their shoulders forward. Desiring a chiseled physique, people will spend more time on the “glamour muscles” such as chest and biceps. These are the muscles that we generally need to be lengthening so the shoulders can sit back where they are strong and stable.

Check out the video and use this reversing technique after you do anything that involves rolling your shoulders forward. The goal of this technique is to re-stabilize the joint. The next step after that is choosing exercises that re-activate the muscles in the back of the shoulders. More on that in later posts.

Ok, here’s the video:

1 Comment

  • By DAVID STRAUSS, January 11, 2015 @ 7:27 pm


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