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  1. #1
    Registered User radioplastic's Avatar
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    my shoulders are hunched forward, what exercises can I do?

    Ive been trying to improve my posture for a long time. I used to hunch a lot but I've been doing yoga and stuff and now I can stand pretty strait.

    The problem is that my shoulders are still hunched forward and it's like they are stuck there. I can't make them move back it's like my whole upper body is stuck or something.

    What can I do? Im not exactly sure which muscles I need to work or stretch or which exercise to do. I tried to take a picture, not sure if it helps
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  2. #2
    Registered User Aric.Gant's Avatar
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    Picture is terrible quality. I've heard when people work chest more than back this can happen, so maybe work your back a little more. No expert though.
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    zona original liftNfish's Avatar
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    workout your back
    meet force with force
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    Registered User d.slick's Avatar
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    Get a good back routine going.... Bent Over Rows, PullUps, Lat Pull Downs, Seated Rows, One Arm Row, etc..
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  5. #5
    Registered User bigsexxyy's Avatar
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    it could be because your chest is too tight, make sure to stretch it.

    Also look up protracted shoulders or rounded shoulders and see if you can relate to those conditions.
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    Registered User Adjusting's Avatar
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    That's a bad picture. You're shoulders don't actually look abnormally rounded forwarded.

    But anyway, try training your abs, rear delts and back.
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    Originally Posted by radioplastic View Post
    Ive been trying to improve my posture for a long time. I used to hunch a lot but I've been doing yoga and stuff and now I can stand pretty strait.

    The problem is that my shoulders are still hunched forward and it's like they are stuck there. I can't make them move back it's like my whole upper body is stuck or something.

    What can I do? Im not exactly sure which muscles I need to work or stretch or which exercise to do. I tried to take a picture, not sure if it helps
    Get a posture corrector, you can find them on amazon I personally have one from Alphabrace and I like it. It was also only 18 bucks so I can have a couple laying around.

    *would post a link but I don't have enough posts yet*
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  8. #8
    Registered User BigRick87's Avatar
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    Shoulders being pulled forward would suggest tight chest muscles and weaker back muscles. Strengthening the upper back and rear delts will help. Looking at the picture I can tell that your rear delts are less developed from your front delts, this alone can give the illusion that your shoulders are pulling forward. My suggestion is to start working the rear delts more.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by BigRick87 View Post
    Shoulders being pulled forward would suggest tight chest muscles and weaker back muscles. Strengthening the upper back and rear delts will help. Looking at the picture I can tell that your rear delts are less developed from your front delts, this alone can give the illusion that your shoulders are pulling forward. My suggestion is to start working the rear delts more.
    This. I know what the OP means I see it a lot in the younger kids at the gym. I also had it back when I first started. Really need to focus on upper back strength.
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  10. #10
    Registered User p_trainer4u's Avatar
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    It is usually from doing heavier or more bench press. Seated row, standing rows will help.
    May have to take a week off of chest or increase the back exercies.
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  11. #11
    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    The following comes from someone who knows and has corrected some of these issues. I developed that posture from years of martial arts/boxing. They sometimes refer to it as boxers shoulders. It is also common in todays desk bound work force.

    Your scaps are tilted to the front and probably protracted as well. That's part of the "internal rotation" of your humerous. You also have a bit of kyphosis. You need more thoracic extension.

    This will give you a good understanding of what's going on.
    http://www.tmuscle.com/article/perfo...and_shrugs&cr=

    Your pecs are tight and your upper back muscles are lax. You need to loosen up the pecs and lats that are tight and work on strengthening the upper back muscles (and more importantly the serratus anterior) to reposition the scaps properly.

    To make a long story short you need to be doing 2X more pulling than pushing for a while.

    Try working the following into your routine on top of the stuff in the other articles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvkIaarnf0g you need to touch the bar to the chest. If you can't that's an indication of a weak scapular control and restricted thoracic extension. Feet on floor to start.

    http://stronglifts.com/how-to-improv...acic-mobility/ thoracic mobility

    http://www.tmuscle.com/article/bodyb..._shoulders&cr= I hate the title of this article. It's a great piece on some good scapular exercises.


    Here is a list of some of the scapular stability stuff that I still do and that really helps.
    http://www.tmuscle.com/readArticle.do?id=459314
    http://bobbyaldridge.com/excercise/m...l_walk_it.html
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=.../4/K7DaRCQh0lY
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...10/d6V2Exzb324 these are done while keeping your butt, upper back and head touching the wall at all times.
    The more bodyweight work you do the better for now. Push ups and pull ups being the obvious choices. They allow a more natural rhythm to occur at the scaps.

    At any rate I should stress that no matter how many exercises or routines you do to correct the problem, it will all be for naught if you don't practice proper posture AT ALL TIMES. Shoulders back, scaps down, chest up. That's the posture that those who have good posture are in without trying. Keeping that posture while stretching out the "push" muscles and strengthening and shortening the "pull" muscles will get you some good results.


    Just found this http://forum.bodybuilding.com/archiv...111870421.html another tonester that is not me !!!??? His take is bang on though
    Last edited by tonester; 03-12-2010 at 04:02 AM.
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  12. #12
    Registered User GuyJin's Avatar
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    Good links by Tonester and advice by BigRick. I also have a bit of a hunch from sitting and typing at the keyboard on and off all day (in between teaching stints) and like many, I used to overemphasize chest work and minimize back and rear delt work. Since I started doing more upper back and rear delt work, my problems are pretty much over, and I always make a conscious effort to sit up straight.

    Since I don't know what kind of equiopment you have to work with, I'll just suggest a few things and you can choose, based on what you have at your disposal.

    Upper back: Chins or pulldowns to the front of your head and not behind. Bent rows or T-bars. Lay off shrugs for a bit if you do them; while I think they're a great exercise for back and delts, they can, if overdeveloped, make you look stoop-shouldered.

    Delts: For rear delts, bent-over laterals or cable face-pulls or rear-delt machine. Laterals for the medial delts are fine. As above, lay off the shrugs and upright rows, if you do them.

    Weak abs can also cause you to slump forward, along with a weak lower back, so working those areas is a must, not only for proper posture but also for overall strength. Deadlifts, hyper-extensions, and Good Mornings will be fine for your lower back (along with perfect form) and crunches, leg raises and knee-ins are useful for the abs. Just my two yen...
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    Registered User radioplastic's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot man, I am a bit overwhelmed by all the information though. Im not sure with which exercises I should start.

    I've been doing p90x for like 2 months which is pretty much a combination of push ups, pull ups and bodyweight squats.

    Im travelling right now so I dont have any equipements. I've been doing pulls up at playgrounds and other random places I can find.

    I want to start doing those exercises right now and it seems you guys are saying to stop working my chest so stop doing push ups?.

    My first priority right now is fixing my posture. I dont care if it means not getting stronger or putting on muscle for a while

    Can you recommend some exercises that I can do with my current situation?

    Originally Posted by tonester View Post
    The following comes from someone who knows and has corrected some of these issues. I developed that posture from years of martial arts/boxing. They sometimes refer to it as boxers shoulders. It is also common in todays desk bound work force.

    Your scaps are tilted to the front and probably protracted as well. That's part of the "internal rotation" of your humerous. You also have a bit of kyphosis. You need...
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  14. #14
    BulknCut gekkoboy14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BigRick87 View Post
    Shoulders being pulled forward would suggest tight chest muscles and weaker back muscles. Strengthening the upper back and rear delts will help. Looking at the picture I can tell that your rear delts are less developed from your front delts, this alone can give the illusion that your shoulders are pulling forward. My suggestion is to start working the rear delts more.
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    1st Dan Chito-Ryu tonester's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by radioplastic View Post
    Can you recommend some exercises that I can do with my current situation?
    Most important is to concentrate on always maintaining a chest up shoulders back and down posture and to stretch the internal rotator muscles (pec minor, lats etc) that are pulling the top of your scaps forward, because the muscles that keep them back and down are weak. The top bony part of your shoulder is your scap, or shoulder blade. If it sits forward so does the arm that is attached to it and therefore you are internally rotated.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0ONHZmsFec Just add these circuits to your routine. Part of your warm up. I know it's titled rehab but could just as easily be titled prehab. It's one of the best examples of what should be done that I've come across. Blend it in with your P90X stuff. From what I've seen that programme has a lot of bodyweight work which is exactly what you need. It's all about working the muscles that control the positioning of your scaps. Good examples of what's needed is bringing your hands right to your chest while doing chin ups of getting your chest to the bar with the inverted row linked in my previous post. Those last couple of inches to the bar is where your scapular strength and stability live.

    Here is a PDF that should be studied in depth for a balanced understanding of scapular strength and control: http://www.martialartsandsportscienc...ter%20PDF_.pdf the more you know the closer you'll get to that "a-ha" moment of understanding and solving your issue.

    Some good exercises for scapular health:
    snatch grip deadlift (deadlifting with regular grip is fine also)
    pull ups (various grips)
    push ups (various elevations)
    overhead shrugs
    overhead squats
    wall facing squats http://www.straighttothebar.com/v2/showthread.php?t=982 these will help in opening up your thoracic spine (upper back)
    face pulls
    inverted rows (for me these were the prime strengthener for the scapular control muscles)
    YTWL's (shown in the article titled "Monster Shoulders" above)
    rows of various kinds using weights or cables. DON'T USE MACHINES. They will rob you of the very stability that you need most.

    I know this is a lot of info but start with this stuff and research the hell out of it. Soon you will be able to SEE what's needed and come up with balanced routines of your own. And be patient. Improvements will not come quickly. You must be diligent.
    Last edited by tonester; 03-13-2010 at 05:22 AM.
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    Rack pulls helped me.
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    Here are 5 steps, I had trouble with my posture and got help from a kinesiologist I know. These are all things I did on a day to day or week to week basis:

    Day to Day:
    -Shoulder mobilizations like the ones in this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhHc7...ayer_embedded# either pre-workout, or just some time through the day.
    -EVERY 10 to 15 mins, no matter how you've been sitting just quickly stretch your back out. Posture is easy to set into a certain way and if you stay in one posture too long its harder to correct. This was one of the biggest things for me.
    -Just practice fulling pushing the shoulder blades down and back, get comfortable like that. Look in the mirror, it probably feels like you look weird but you'll see its pretty normal.

    Week to week (in the gym)
    -Fix the way you train back - Always end every lift with full scapular retraction. http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Scapula.html
    -None of that leaning into it on the last few reps, or putting the shoulders forward to sneak some traps into your lift. It can be really detrimental.
    -Emphasis scapula retraction in your back workouts. So for a week or two you might need to re-vamp the way you've been lifting if this posture is really important to you. You can still use loose form if that's what you like but just be concious of how you end your reps (chest out is ideal, a lot of ppl end reps hunched over)
    -Maintain a 3:2 pull to press ratio (presses include dips, bench presses and overhead). Balance your shoulder presses with shrugs and rear laterals, and your bench presses/dips with pulldowns/rows. If you find yourself adding extra back volume to make this ratio, it doesn't have to be all-out sets, it could just be lighter (like 75% effort) "form" sets, it's just to balance the activity level of either side of the body.
    My training log:

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143412923
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  18. #18
    Registered User Ittybittymac's Avatar
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    I've had this same problem. I still struggle with it at times. My masseuse helped me with it. She had me roll up a small hand towel and rubberband the ends together. After it is all rolled up lay on your back with it along your spine in between your shoulder blades. Your chest muscles are tight and pulling your shoulders in. When you lay on the rolled up towel you stretch those chest muscles helping your shoulders regain the correct posture. You should do this for 15-20 minutes a day. Start off with one towel rolled up and then work your self up to 2. A word of warning to you though. This is uncomfortable. Remember to drink lots water because you are really stretching those chest muscles. I also used to get those terrible knots in between my shoulder blades and my spine. Gone! Weird I know. Something so simple can work wonders!
    I hope this helps!
    Originally Posted by radioplastic View Post
    Ive been trying to improve my posture for a long time. I used to hunch a lot but I've been doing yoga and stuff and now I can stand pretty strait.

    The problem is that my shoulders are still hunched forward and it's like they are stuck there. I can't make them move back it's like my whole upper body is stuck or something.

    What can I do? Im not exactly sure which muscles I need to work or stretch or which exercise to do. I tried to take a picture, not sure if it helps
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  19. #19
    Registered User thomasbroad's Avatar
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    Don't just work your rear delts, prioritise them.

    Face pulls really help me pull my shoulders back.

    Also, force yourself to walk/sit with your shoulders back - it feels strange at first, but I forced myself and my posture is so much better for it.

    If you have a band, hold it and go into a 'T'
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    Originally Posted by madflojo View Post
    Get a posture corrector, you can find them on amazon I personally have one from Alphabrace and I like it. It was also only 18 bucks so I can have a couple laying around.

    *would post a link but I don't have enough posts yet*
    I can't thank you enough.
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    back, triceps, shoulders. Far too many people forget about the importance of back exercises.
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