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Correct Slumped Shoulders

I’ve got shoulders that tend to slump forward. I think this is a hereditary thing. My dad and some of my siblings have this too.

Is there some sort of corrective exercise that would strengthen certain back musceles and correct this?

Unless you’re a genetic hunchback (unlikely), it’s probably due to just poor posture and weak muscles.

The article that springs to mind is Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson’s Neanderthal No More series. You can use the search function to find it.

There have been lots of other articles written about this, but I forget what they are. Maybe others can help you more.

Search for “Heal that hunchback”.

[quote]dancar wrote:
I’ve got shoulders that tend to slump forward. I think this is a hereditary thing. My dad and some of my siblings have this too.

Is there some sort of corrective exercise that would strengthen certain back muscles and correct this?[/quote]

Yes. This issue might be caused by having out-of-balance pectoral muscles, i.e. your front-muscles are stronger than your back-muscles and they are constantly pulling your shoulders forward. (This is sometimes called “Bench-Press Syndrome”)

Do some pull-ups/chin-ups, barbell rowing (Search around for more info on this one…) and reverse dumbbell flys. (I.e. bend-over at about 70 degrees or so, grab two dumbbells and pull them up with your elbows out. Its the functional opposite of a pec-dec-fly movement)

Those 3 should help strengthen your Lats and trapezius muscles. If you keep it up, you’ll eventually reduce the slumpy-shoulder issues. Once you’re back to normal, keep doing these once your shoulders normalize, they are a key piece of a lifting program.

Also, read the recent “Shoulder Savers” articles by Eric Cressey

At this point, my pectorals are pretty flat against my ribcage, so I don’t imagine they’re too strong. But my back muscels are pretty lean too, so I’ll keep up the chin/pull ups and rows – and search out the humpback article.

The lats are also an internal rotator of the humerous, which will also cause rounded shoulders.

My recomendations are to focus on exteranl rotation work, as well as the posterior deltoid.

Stretch the pecs, lats, internal rotators of the humerous, and also the hipflexors (everyone can use more hip flexor felxibility).

For a movement that will strengthen the lats, and also proide a great stretch for both the pecs and lats, try the dumbbell pullover.

CT did a piece ages ago, which included a variation of the DB pullover, it was a decline cable pullover, which increased lat activation.

I would definitely advise you to search out and follow the advice in the “Heal that Hunchback” article.

I would also recommend that you do something daily following that intensive work to resolve the problem. You could compile a list of some external rotation exercises that you could do at home. There are several that you can do with no weight or just holding a can of soup or something. You could try 1 or 2 different exercises every night for 3 or 4 sets of 15-20 combined with stretches for the pecs and lats. You could even introduce these exercises to your dad and brother. This small amount of work daily will really help with correcting the kyphosis(hunchback).

I would also replace crunches with some type reverse crunch until you iron out the problem.

The best exercise is to just pull your shoulders back into the proper position. You will have to correct yourself all the time, but it will just eventually become second nature and will become your proper posture. I had a shoulder injury and the PT told me that fixing my posture this way would help it. It took about a year before I could walk around in proper posture with out thinking about it.

If you don’t suspect an imbalance issue with your major muscle groupings, then it could just be that your posterior rotator cuff muscles and sub-scapular aren’t doing their job - to hold your hemoral head in place. If that’s the problem then it’s largely a mental exercise to get them to co-activate properly. See a physio and they’ll put you on the right road.

In addition to what the other posters have already mentioned, rear delts is where it’s at.

[quote]dancar wrote:
I’ve got shoulders that tend to slump forward. I think this is a hereditary thing. My dad and some of my siblings have this too.

Is there some sort of corrective exercise that would strengthen certain back musceles and correct this?[/quote]

And stretch your pecs 3 times a day.