• Caitlin Cavarra Raymond, PT, DPT, OCS

Fix Those Rounded Shoulders

This is a common complaint I hear from many of my clients with and without shoulder pain. Many of us find ourselves with the front of our shoulders rounding in and it can feel like it pulls your forward. This can cause the upper back or thoracic spine to round more, which further pushes our body into a slumped or rounded position.





Rounded shoulders can eventually lead to common shoulder issues including rotator cuff tendonitis, shoulder impingement or trigger points. When the shoulders are in a more rounded, forward position there is less space for tendons to move and they can get compressed causing pain.


Rounded shoulders are often caused by an imbalance in flexibility or strength, or a combination of the two. Many times the front of the shoulder is tightened (pectoralis major and minor are the usual culprits), and the back of the shoulder is weak (infraspinatus and posterior deltoid commonly).


The GOOD NEWS is that you can improve your rounded shoulder position and reduce the chances of experiencing pain there! Check out the exercises below.



Below are 5 Exercises to Fix your Rounded Shoulders



Pec Minor Stretch: Stand near a wall with your fingers facing down and arm straight, turn your body away from the wall to feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Hold and breathe 20-30 seconds, repeat 2-3x.




Pec Major Stretch: Get near a wall with your elbow parallel with your shoulders making a 90 degree angle. Turn your body away from the wall until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder. Hold 20-30 seconds, repeat 2-3x.




Prone Y: Lay on a stability ball or on a bench. With your arms out wide in a 'Y' position, raise your arms up. Repeat 10x, 2-3 sets. This exercise focuses on your lower trapezius.




Prone T + ER: Lay on a bench or a stability ball. With 0-5# dumbbell, raise your arms out like a 'T' position with your thumbs up. Repeat 10-15x, 2-3 sets. This exercise focuses on your lower trapezius and rotator cuff muscles.





Bilateral ER: Standing with a band (or nothing) with a tall, upright posture and palms facing up, bring your arms out to the side holding for 5 seconds. Repeat 10-15x, 2-3 sets. This focuses on your rotator cuff muscles and middle trapezius.






Try these out and with consistency (at minimum perform 3x/week) you will see a change! Also, be mindful of your daily posture and habits as this can contribute to the rounded shoulders position as well.



If you want further help and feel like the exercises are not enough to make a change, reach out and we can chat further at 615.982.4062.



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