Often when you are doing computer work, driving, lifting babies, or taking part in leisure activities, you might find yourself rounding your shoulders, creating tight muscles that cause the infamous hunch. Bad posture can not only take a toll on your body but can also affect the way you are seen during interviews and at your job. By doing these simple exercises that can be done while sitting on a chair, standing, kneeling, or sitting on the floor, you can help unlock tight shoulders and chest muscles and ultimately fix your bad posture. These stretches and exercises are very accessible to anyone and can un-hunch your shoulders.
7. Goalpost Stretch
When you are experiencing rounded shoulders, the front of your chest collapses inward. By doing the goalpost stretch, you can open the chest muscles and reset the shoulders to their natural position.
Start by grabbing a yoga strap, jump rope, or belt, and come to a comfortable seated or standing position. Then take the strap or belt in both hands and straighten your arms out at shoulder height with your palms facing down. Bring your hands a little wider than shoulder-distance apart on the strap; when you inhale, lift the strap up and overhead with your palms facing forward. As you exhale, bend your elbows to shoulder height and lower the strap, drawing your shoulder blades down your back and in toward your spine. Think of it as forming a goalpost shape with your arms. Inhale and reach your arms up, then exhale and return to your original standing position with your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times.
6. Back Bound Hand Stretch
By spending the majority of your time with your shoulders hunched, the inward rotation of your shoulders can become consistent. This move helps offset the bad habit.
Sit in a comfortable position or in a standing position and slide your shoulder blades down, away from your ears and together toward your spine. Then bring both arms and hands behind you. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and your left elbow with your right hand. If this movement is too difficult, try grabbing your wrists or forearms instead. Then lift your chest and press your shoulder blades down your back while drawing them toward your spine. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths and switch sides by grabbing your left elbow with your right hand and your right elbow with your left hand. Lift your chest and press your shoulder blades down your back and toward your spine. Finally, take 3 to 5 deep breaths.