Workout for Rounded Shoulders

Exercise to Fix Rounded Shoulders

By Okan Caylak

Definitely in personal training we find that posture is one of the major limiting factors to our health and fitness. One of the most common posture problems you see is people with rounded shoulders.

Basically, when shoulders appear further forward often accompanied by a hunching or bending forward of the upper spine and protracted neck. Muscle imbalances and bad posture due to our lifestyle are the primary cause, but can be made worse by how we workout.

If we spend hours a day in front of the computer sitting at a desk, watching TV, driving  etc in a hunched over/forward position with rounded shoulders our body will adapt to it, because our body can adapt almost all physical activities or positions we put ourselves in. This is especially prevalent people who have a desk jobs. They must be very careful and know the correct sitting techniques, choosing the correct chair and learning and utilising the correct stretching and exercises to stay mobile and pain free.

The other common reason of rounded shoulder is that most people start workout with the muscles that they can see in the mirror. These are pecs, shoulders, biceps and abs and avoid the others they can’t see in the mirror, especially the back muscles. Without balancing your pressing (mirror muscle) movements with pull movements you will cause these muscles to become overdeveloped and other muscles become weakened leaving you in a forward dominated, rounded position.

Showing over-developed muscles that causes rounded shoulders
Over-developed muscles that causes rounded shoulders

To fix rounded shoulders we need to stretch the overdeveloped muscles and strengthen the weak ones. The tight and over-developed muscles are:

  • Pec major/minor
  • Anterior delts
  • Lats
  • Internal rotators

First off stretching the chest, anterior deltoids, and internal rotators can all be accomplished by one simple easy stretch which is doorway stretch.

You can also use chest foam rolling, supine chest stretch or behind the back stretch to relax your chest.Fixing the rounded shoulders can significantly improve performance, reduce injury, and make you look better.

Weakened (lengthened):

  • Rhomboid major/minor
  • Mid/Low Trapezius
  • Deltoids
  • External Rotators

Strengthening exercises are going to be targeting mainly the upper back. Exercise to be concentrating on are: bent over row, barbell row, inverted row, reverse dumbell flys, face pulls. also floor flatteners, dorsal raises, band pull aparts, dumbell external rotations.


About Okan Caylak Okan is passionate about helping people transform their lives and reach a better quality of life through health and fitness.His goal is to inspire and educate you with the necessary tools you’ll need to make to permanent and positive lifestyle change. Okan has an bachelor degree in Sports Science from Ege University Izmir/Turkey.He is a qualified PE teacher with background in playing and coaching competitive football and swimming.He is a REP level 3 personal trainer and He believes that if a workout doesn’t challenge you, it wont change you. Details: Ege University Bachelor degree in Sports Science, REP level 3 personal trainer, award in Circuit Instruction, award in teaching personal training outdoors, award in indoor Cycling, award in GP & Exercises Referral.

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