Posted on January 13, 2016
Did your mom every yell at you for slouching? I know mine did. Sure, slouching usually involves leaning back and rounding out your low back, but it also requires your shoulders slouching forward as well. Trust me, I know how comfy it can be to just let those suckers hang out forward, but you’re killing your shoulder and neck musculature! When your shoulders are slouched forward it creates a downhill momentum that your muscles are constantly having to hold while they’re in a lengthened position. Imagine if you had to keep a car from rolling forward that’s placed in neutral. Would you want that car to be on level ground or pointed downhill? You’d pick level ground every time, and so would your muscles!
There are 2 main issues that will cause your shoulders to constantly end up forward
- Chest and pec tightness. If you’re tight in your chest musculature, good luck getting those shoulders back! A great way to work on getting your chest stretched out is the doorway pec stretch. Learn how here:
2. Weak shoulder blade muscles. Now that you have your chest stretched out, it doesn’t matter if you can’t control your shoulder blades into the right spot. First, just try some good ol’ shoulder blade (scap) squeezes. If you want to refine your skills more, go ahead and try our scapular clocks to really fine tune your scap control!
So that’s it. If you keep your chest/pecs stretched and your shoulder blades strong, you’ll be making momma proud in no time.
Fight the slouch, embrace the scap squeeze!
Dane Happeny, PT, DPT, Doctor of Physical Therapy