The shoulder is the joint with the greatest range of motion and least stability, resulting in increased vulnerability to sprains, repetitive injuries, and nagging pain. All types of people experience shoulder issues and all sorts of things can cause these issues. Almost everyone between the ages of 18 and 88 will experience some type of shoulder discomfort or complication, and it can be the result of repetitive movements, years of lousy posture, a collision, poor weightlifting form, or many other causes.
Open Up Tight Muscles
We spend considerable time in postures – in a car, at a desk, while we sleep, on the toilet – where our shoulders are rotated forward and our upper back is slouched. Repeatedly staying in this posture leads to solidifying a “Quasimodo” posture. Combating this requires loosening the muscles in the front of the body through proper stretching. Try stretches that target the chest, front side of the shoulders, latissimus dorsi, and the ability of the arm to rotate overhead.
Foam Rolling the Torso
Foam rolling is a type of self-massaging that opens up knots and tight muscles, reduces inflammation, and improves our body’s recovery from strenuous physical work. Foam rolling can be used for tight or sore muscles anywhere on the body, and when it comes to improving posture foam rolling the right parts of your body can be effective in opening up the chest and upper back, and in reducing pain or tight spots throughout the body.
Strengthen Upper Back Muscles
On top of considerable sitting, many people then go to the gym and proceed to do exercises that add to their rounded shoulders – such as excessive chest, bicep, anterior deltoid exercises, and other upper body pushing exercises.
Healthy shoulders require strong upper back muscles, such as the posterior deltoids, the lower trapezius, upper back stabilizers, and the rotator cuffs. All of these muscles help to stabilize the positioning and movement of the shoulders. The prevention or reduction of kyphosis (rounded shoulders and posture) requires that these upper back muscles be trained more frequently than the chest, biceps, and anterior deltoids. A couple times per week you should perform exercises that strengthen the rotator cuffs, posterior deltoids, and upper back.
Prioritize Your Structural Integrity
Impressive improvements in posture, health, or whatever your goal is, doesn’t come overnight. Rather it is the daily implementation of good habits, over the course of several months and years, that results in impressive and fulfilling improvements. Every day and throughout every week allocate some time and attention to your posture and exercise. Be more conscious of your posture, do stretches throughout the day, and exercise intelligently a handful of times per week.