Exercise for Better Posture

We all know now that poor posture can lead to chronic pain, injury and a numerous other undesirable side effects. As an exercise therapist, one of the most common postural patterns I come across is rounded shoulders. There are a number of contributors that play into developing these postural deviations. The most common lifestyle factor in this area comes from sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. Though many of us cannot control what our work environment does to us, what we can do is use corrective exercise and corrective stretching to help improve poor posture, particularly rounded shoulders.

When using exercise and stretching to combat poor posture you must make sure you are choosing the right tools for the job. If you have rounded shoulders, there is no sense in doing sit-ups and the bench press. These exercises will only make it worse. To improve rounded shoulders you must train the mid to upper back muscles and stretch the chest and anterior shoulder muscles. A great exercise to start implementing into your workout routine for improving your posture is wide grip back rows. You want to do a high rep count to expose the muscles for a long time to tension. So your typical 8-12 rep set will not get the job done; instead try a rep count between 20-25 with a fairly slow to moderate tempo. In between the sets, stretch your chest. This technique will help improve your rounded shoulders.        

If you have any further questions on how to use exercise and stretching to improve your posture and manage/minimize your chronic pain, please contact me for a FREE Fitness Consultation.

Adam Morrella, BS, CPT

Exercise Therapist / Kinesiologist
Left Coast Fitness