While shoulders do appear to have a slightly rounded, forward appearance in most people, some signs of a greater than normal internal rotation of the shoulder joint are as follows;
- When viewed from the front, shoulders rolling inwards and the elbow pointing outwards to the side (the correct position is for the elbow to point backwards).
- Palms facing backwards (the correct position is for the palms to face inwards towards the legs).
Why are rounded shoulders a problem?
Visually rounded shoulders can make us appear less confident and can make the shoulders look broader. Rounded shoulders are also commonly associated with kyphosis, or rounding of the upper back and poke neck where the head sits forwards of the posture line.
Of more concern than appearance however, rounded shoulders:
- Can result in unnecessary pain and tension in the upper body.
- Can become harder to correct the longer that you keep re-enforcing the posture.
- Greatly increases the risk of shoulder impingement and thus the chance of injury.
How to correct rounded shoulders:
The good news is that in most cases, you can use specific exercise to correct rounded shoulders. In addition to this, try to consider your posture throughout your day, particularly whilst you are sat down.
A great tip for when you are driving in the car - set your seat and mirrors whilst in correct posture and do not alter them. This will ensure that you are always sat correctly whilst driving your car, (Thanks to Suzy Orr for that little gem)
In Modern Pilates, we regularly work to strengthen and mobilise the muscles of the upper back. We predominately focus on the rhomboids, trapezius and rear deltoids. We then focus on stretching the chest muscles to create balance and correct alignment.