How to Fix Rounded Shoulders

UK Fitness Pro
UK Fitness Pro
· 4 min read
A woman fixing her rounded shoulders.

Do you believe you used to be taller? 

Are you concerned about your slightly slumped posture? 

Do you often complain of neck or back pain? Headache or dizziness?

These signs might be how your body is telling you that you are having rounded shoulders.

Keep tuned to find out what they are, how to rehabilitate rounded shoulders and how to sleep to fix rounded shoulders while simply lying down.

Rounded Shoulders: What Are They?

Rounded shoulders are a type of poor posture you assume when you have muscle imbalance across your chest, shoulder and back muscles. 

Normally, these muscles act together to stabilise your upper body, allow for movement and provide proper posture. 

Unfortunately, some of your day-to-day bad habits may result in shortening of your chest muscles and weakness of your back and scapular muscles. 

As a result, this muscle imbalance pulls your shoulder forward and gives you the rounded-shoulder appearance you dislike. 

What causes rounded shoulders in my daily habits?

In general, rounded shoulders can be a result of: 

  • Poor sitting posture on a desk for long time
  • Slumping while using a phone or a laptop
  • Sitting for long periods everyday
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
  • Frequent bending and carrying heavy weights

Are rounded shoulders dangerous?

If you have rounded shoulders, you may not be able to stand tall, and you may think you do not look your best.

Of course, looking good is important… 

But this is not the most worrisome thing about rounded shoulders. 

As a matter of fact, rounded shoulders may result in more serious problems such as: 

  • Neck and back pain
  • Increased load on your cervical and dorsal spine
  • Limited shoulder movement
  • Shoulder impingement and rotator cuff problems
  • Increased friction in your shoulder joint
  • Abnormal curvature of the rest of your spine

For these reasons, it is important to improve your posture and correct your shoulders position to protect your joints and spine. 

A woman stretching to fix her rounded shoulders.

How much time does it take to fix rounded shoulders?

Improvement in your rounded shoulders depends on the cause and chronicity of your condition.

In some cases, obvious postural and functional improvements can be seen in 4-6 weeks.

Yet, when you have ignored your problem for too long, changes in your tissue structure and neural integrity can take longer.

These changes lead to: 

  • Shortening in your connective tissues (e.g., ligaments and capsules)
  • Inhibition of the weak muscles (e.g., back and scapular muscles)
  • Tightness and shortening of some muscles (e.g., chest muscles)
  • Restriction of the fascia
  • Limited joint range of movement

These changes can make your rounded shoulder correction journey a little bit longer.

For instance, strengthening a weak muscle takes a short time before noticeable results are seen. 

But re-activating or re-educating an inhibited muscle takes longer because your brain has forgotten the action of the muscle and it takes a little longer to re-engram it in your brain. 

When this is the case, fixing rounded shoulders can take up to 4 months. 

A person stretching to fix their rounded shoulders.

Rounded Shoulders Exercises: The Ultimate Solution

If you are looking for how to fix rounded shoulders through exercise, it is important to understand what your programme will be all about. 

Here are the two main types of exercises you need to include in your programme: 

1. Stretching and Flexibility Exercises

Stretching for rounded shoulders exercises must target your tight chest, neck and shoulder muscles. Try these at-home exercises as a start, and wait for the results!

  • Doorway stretches

Simply stand at the doorway with your arms at 90 degrees (T-shape) at your side, step and lean forward while keeping your arms on the door frame.

This exercise will stretch your pectoral (chest) muscles and fascia and will improve your posture.

After holding the stretch for 30 seconds and repeating 3-5 times, change your arm position to form a V-shape and repeat the exercise. 

  • Neck Muscles Stretch

Sit on a chair with one hand holding the chair at the lowest point you can reach. 

With your other hand, hold your head, tuck your chin in and pull your head to the side until you feel the stretch in your neck muscles. 

You can bend your head slightly or rotate it to the other side at different angles to stretch different fibres of your neck muscles.  

  • Lying down

That’s right! 

You can simply correct your rounded shoulders while lying down on your back. 

All you need to do is place a rolled towel between your shoulder blades. 

This position will help you stretch your chest and shoulder muscles easily and effectively.

2. Strengthening Exercises 

Strengthening exercises must target your back muscles in order to correct the position of the shoulder blades and shoulders. 

Simply lie on your stomach with your arms in a superman position, raise your straight arms up towards the ceiling and squeeze your shoulder blades as much as you can. 

Repeat this movement 10-12 times. 

Change your arms shape to T (arms straight out at shoulder level) and inverted V shape to engage all your back and scapular muscles. 

3. Core Stability

Because good posture starts at the core, core stability exercises are a crucial part of your plan.

Strengthen your core by performing diaphragmatic training, breathing exercises, pelvic floor exercises and abdominal strengthening.

These exercises will help you achieve the best results and will prevent recurrence of your rounded shoulders in particular, and all poor postures in general. 

Need help? Correct your posture with an expert

Do you think correcting your posture with an expert personal trainer will be easier and faster?

You are right!

People often have better, faster and more long-lasting results when their rehabilitation programme is customised by a top personal trainer.

Customised programmes target your very own problems and focus on solving them.

Maybe it is now your turn to start with a top personal trainer in London.

You might also like these articles the benefits of PTs for those over 60, specialist exercise classes for medical conditions, and the benefits of Pilates PTs