When you spend years of your life slouching the solution isn’t just straightening out your back.
How many times have you heard… “sit up straight, straighten out that back” or maybe even someone actually physically put their thumbs into your shoulder blades and straightened out your back for you.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem because your body will simply just return to that slouched position especially when you stop thinking about keeping your back straight and relax.
To ACTUALLY fix this problem the very first thing that we want to do is identify what’s causing the bad posture to begin with because if we don’t identify what’s causing it
and we just start fixing the tight and weak muscle groups then all your efforts of fixing the are going to go to waste because you’re going to be causing more of the same problem as you’re trying to fix it.
It’s kind of like hitting your hand with a hammer every day and then icing it. So where do postural deviations like shoulder protraction come from?
Well, most postural deviations are related to your lifestyle and the typical postures you find yourself in throughout the day.
Rounded shoulders are by far one of the most common imbalances and the reason why is because most of us are sitting throughout the day.
Not only are we sitting but a lot of us are staring at a computer screen. And usually that computer screen is below eye level and the chair is pulled way out rather than being pulled in,
so we find ourselves in a slouched position while working throughout the day. Then when we get some free time we go to our phones and when we text on our phones
or watch videos or go on Facebook you hold your phone below eye level……….. I mean most people I know hold their phones down here, not up here.
Then from there, we get in the car to go home and the whole ride home we’re sitting slouched over the steering wheel.
All these times where you’re slouching whether it be on your phone in your car or working in front of a computer
or even worse on a laptop you’re stretching all these muscles out in your back offsetting the proper length-tension relationships between your muscles around your shoulder joint.
This means that once you stretch all these muscles out these muscles get weaker due to the fact they’re in a stretched position making it even harder to maintain an upright posture.
Causes like this exist for every postural imbalance not just rounded shoulders. People come to train with me all the time with one shoulder lower than the other
a lot of times due to carrying a briefcase or a bag in that one arm or on that one side for years.
And over the years it literally stretches out their trap and affects their whole kinetic chain…
so the hips might come out to the side to counterbalance the shoulder and then their knee might cave inward to balance the hips.
So to fix the root cause of rounded shoulders you want to start first with your computer because that’s when most people are slouched over the most.
First of all, if you have a laptop get it off of your lap and put it on a table.
Once it’s on the table whether you have a laptop or a monitor bring it up to eye level.
The bottom portion of the screen should literally be right in front of your eyes when you’re sitting up straight.You can use a box or stack of books or anything to bring your screen up to eye level.
The next thing you want to do is get a comfortable seat one that can lock in a vertical upright position.
then slide that seat as close as you can to your monitor while keeping your back upright against the seat.
This way when you need to see something closer you don’t have to hunch over to see it.
Next, we’re going to tackle the cell phone.
Since we spend a huge part of our day on the phone we want to make sure we fix our bad slouched over posture.
So rather than using your phone like this……………….. you’re going to take your opposite arm cross it over your body and rest your elbow on your opposite hand.
This might seem silly but it’s actually a really comfortable position and what it does is it raises the phone to eye level.
When your phones at eye level you’re not slouching down to see it instead you’re sitting or standing upright because you’ve brought the phone to your face.
When driving you to want to sit in your car upright with your back against the seat and then adjust the seat and mirrors from that position.
This way not only will it be comfortable to sit upright, but every time that you can’t see your mirrors properly it’ll cue you to check your posture.
Also if you drive a lot consider getting a lumbar support pillow or just wrap up a towel and put it behind your lower back.
One last cause we have to address before moving on to the fixes is regular walking, standing, and upright posture.
It’s very natural for most people to slouch when they stand not only for physical comfort but also for psychological comfort.
You see when you stick your chest out and stand up straight you communicate dominance and confidence and it’s even been shown in studies that having an upright posture affects testosterone levels.
All these factors naturally will get people’s attention. Many people don’t want that attention so they try to blend in with the crowd and I totally get that.
It may not feel natural to stand up straight, but I promise you once you make it a habit to stand up straight for even a week it’ll begin to feel very natural.
The best way to create this habit is by concentrating on your sternum, not your rounded shoulders.
Pretend your sternum is a cup full of water and you don’t want to spill it. That’s literally all you have to do whenever you’re walking or standing anywhere.
Your shoulders can’t be rounded if your sternum is vertical and upright. So now that that’s done and you’re not hitting your injury with a hammer anymore let’s focus on healing that injury.
Shoulder protraction is a combination of a tight chest, tight lats, and weak rhomboids in the back which are the muscles that connect your shoulders blades together.
So to help heal this problem we have to focus on stretching the chest, stretching the lats, and strengthening your rhomboids in your back.
Now, there are plenty of ways to do these things at the gym, but I’m gonna pretend you don’t have access to a gym.
A very simple solution for your chest……at least once a day finds some time to find a doorway, any kind of doorway,
bring your arms up to 90-degree angles from your body and place your elbow and forearms against the frame of the doorway.
Then all you have to do is lean through the doorway and hold that stretch for 30 seconds.
Then rest and repeat for 3 to 4 sets. For those tight lats grab something sturdy above your head with one arm.
Then sit your hips back and down to stretch that lat and also rotate your hips toward the side of that stretched lat.
so the front part of your pelvis is attempting to face the arm being stretched. Again hold that for 30 seconds for 3 to four sets and make sure you do both sides.
Last but not least is strengthening those rhomboids. If you have no dumbbells you can lay down flat on the floor and do skydivers.
Here your starting position is on your stomach with both arms straight out to your sides. Raise your arms and your knees up off the ground and hold it for a slow 3 count.
Then lower. Repeat this for 10 reps of 3 to four sets. If you have access to more equipment like a gym,
or even a couple dumbbells or a trx then you’re gonna want to incorporate some upper back days in your workout routine.
The goal here is to do multiple exercises for multiple sets to really exhaust and break down those rhomboids.
I’ll include a link in the description for a back workout you can do with more equipment, but that’s pretty much it guys focus on stopping the causes which are sitting behind a computer,
slouching over a cell phone, rounded shoulders when standing, and bad driving posture and then focus on strengthening the weak muscle groups while strengthening the tight ones.
I really hope this tip has helped you out. If you enjoyed it make sure you subscribe to the channel and right now I’m also running a free 6 week challenge
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