No More Rounded Shoulders – It’s Time to Improve Your Posture!

Upper Crossed Syndrome is characterized by rounding one’s shoulders and drawing his/her head forward, which creates increased cervical extension and scapular protraction and elevation (pulling apart and raising one’s shoulders).  With the rise in technology, this syndrome is becoming increasingly common in today’s workplace.  The longer an individual sits at a desk in front of a computer, the more likely he/she will develop this poor posture.

To prevent Upper Crossed Syndrome, we need to perform shoulder extension and shoulder external rotation exercises, focusing on strengthening our lengthened muscles and stretching our shortened muscles.

Shortened Muscles 

  • Upper Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Scalenes
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major
  • Subscapularis
  • Pectoralis Major/Minor

Lengthened Muscles

  • Deep Cervical Flexors
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Rhomboids
  • Middle Trapezius
  • Lower Trapezius
  • Teres Minor
  • Infraspinatus

The two prime movers in shoulder external rotation are Teres Minor and Infraspinatus.

Teres Minor

  • Origin:  Upper 2/3, dorsal surfaces of the lateral border of the scapula
  • Insertion:  Lowest region of the greater tubercle of the humerus
  • Nerve Innervation:  Axillary, C5 and C6
  • Action:  External rotation of the humerus and stabilization of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa during movement

Infraspinatus

  • Origin:  Medial 2/3 of the infraspinatus fossa of the scapula
  • Insertion:  Middle region of the greater tubercle of the humerus
  • Nerve Innervation:  Suprascapular nerve, C5, C6, and sometimes C4
  • Action:  External rotation of the humerus and stabilization of the humeral head in the glenoid fossa during movement

There are several different shoulder external rotation exercises, and many of them can be performed at the convenience of your desk or office!

You may choose to use a dumbbell (5-lbs. – 10-lbs.), cable machine, or resistance band.

Here is a short video of an exercise using the band:

References:

(2012). Assessments, Training Concepts, and Program Design. In M.A. Clark, S. C. Lucett, & B.G. Sutton (Eds.),  NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training (pp. 126).  Baltimore, MD:  Lippincott Williamns & Wilkins.

Brookbush, B. (2012).  Retrieved from http://b2cfitness.com/cpt_blog/external-rotators/?goback=%2Egde_1891999_member_243977952.

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About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering the 55 and better "chronologically-enriched" population about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, and group exercise instructor—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, public speaking, corporate wellness program facilitation and senior fitness program support.
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14 Responses to No More Rounded Shoulders – It’s Time to Improve Your Posture!

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