Proper posture is important to avoid rounding our shoulders which give us that hunched look. Unfortunately, most of us are hunched over our computers at work which is why it is a bit difficult for us to be conscious of our posture. Sadly, this posture of ours causes many back problems which is why it is important that you stretch your shoulders and back to correct your posture after several hours of sitting down. The following stretches are worth trying out.
- Back bound hand pose. For this stretch, you will need to squeeze your shoulder blades back and down with your hands and arms behind your back. Your left hand should grab your right elbow and your right hand holding on to your left elbow. If you find this pose a bit difficult, just grab your arm or wrist with the opposite hand. Take some deep breaths as you lift your chest while keeping your shoulder blades down.
- Cow face pose. Another stretch that can correct or prevent rounded shoulders is the cow face pose. Position the back of your left hand on your lower back then slide it upwards as high as you can. Raise your right arm overhead then bend your elbow to bring your right hand behind your back. Try to reach your left hand with your right then grab it. Hold this pose while you take deep breaths. It’s okay if you can’t reach your left hand just yet. Just keep practicing and you will find it easier soon enough. Repeat with the other side with your left hand raised and your right hand positioned behind your back.
- Doorframe stretch. Sometimes, your rounded shoulders are caused by tight chest muscles and weak back muscles. To help release the tightness in your chest, you will need to do the doorframe stretch. To start this stretch, position your elbows and hands against the doorframe then step forward until you feel a nice stretch in your shoulders. Don’t go any further if you feel any pain. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds then release. You can repeat this as many times as you want.
- Band pull aparts. Another good stretch that will help correct your shoulders is the band pull aparts. For this stretch, you will need a resistance band with each end held by your hands. Bring the band in front of your chest then pull it as far as you can manage. This will train your rotator cuff as well as your scapular stabilizer muscles to help pull your shoulders in the correct position. You need to do 10 reps for this to complete 1 set.
- Camel pose. For this stretch, you will need to kneel down on the floor with a chair behind you. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Hold on to the chair with your hands. Push pelvis forward as you raise your chest towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath as you give your chest and back a nice good stretch. Hold this pose for a few seconds then release.