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Shoulders Rolled Forward


Ive been doing some research after talking to a physical therapist this weekend that showed me that my shoulders are rolled forward. I have trouble building a chest and have been working on it hard. To fix I am trying to stretch the chest muscles a lot more by laying on the ground with a rolled towel under my back.

I probably dont do enough upper back in my back routine. Can you guys recommend something that can help get me straightened out. Im sure i would have to overbalance the other way now.

A typical back excersize for me would be.
one arm dumbell rows
wide or close grip lat pulldowns
wide or close grip rows. opposite of lat pulldown grip
I do a lot of work on the hammer strength machines for back as well

Thank you


Get this:


Then use it.


What did the therapist suggest you do to correct the issue?

What exactly is your current weekly training plan - days, exercises, sets, and reps?

The more info we have, the better advice you can get.

This isn't exactly a chest stretch.

What do you mean "overbalance the other way"?

Again, if you can layout exactly what you do each week (or at least, exactly what you did for training last week), we can get a better idea of where things can be improved.

I will say that as soon as I began starting one or two training workouts each week with a few sets of face pulls using a static hold, my back, chest, and shoulders felt (and, I think, looked) better.


Chris thanks for the reply

The therapist suggested that I just need to stretch the chest area and stop doing chest excersizes that bring my hands together (cable flys etc.)

A typical week is
mon - back - lat pulldowns - warm up with 20 reps. then 10/8/6/fail adding weight with each set
close grip rows - 10/8/6/fail adding weight with each set
reverse flys on incline bench - 10/10/10 have trouble going up in weight on this exersize
lat pushdowns - 10/8/6
tues - bis tris
wed - shoulders traps
thur - off
fri - chest - incline db press - warmup 30 lbs 15-20 reps 10/8/6/4 increasing weight each set 65/75/85/95
falt bb press - 10/8/6/4 185/205/225/245 increasing weight each set and then finish with a light slow set
decline db press - 10/8/6/4 85/95/105/115 increasing weight each set
cable flys - 10/10/10 increasing each set maybe 10 lbs
sat - legs
sun - off

when laying on the towel and holding your arms out you really feel a good stretch on the chest.

what i meant by overbalance is through reading it seems my chest is too tight and my back is not so it pulls my shoulders in. so i meant by over doing the backa bit would pull shoulders back?

I will add face pulls this week. never done them.


Edit: Fuck what I said before.

x2 on A&C

From my experience theres more to rolled shoulders than doing proper exercises and focusing on the obvious triggers.


Add front squats with olympic grip to your routine.

It forces you into good posture, and it's a great all-around exercise to boot.


So, care to elaborate then? I have this problem as well and would like to hear good advice to fix it.


Well what worked for me doesn't neceserrily mean it will work for you.

I hardly think its something to be "fixed". It's fixed once you don't let your shoulders round forward. You may have soft tissue restrictions working against you in your rotator cuff, pec/pec minor, lat. Learn to pop your chest out if your i.e keep your back straight. If it feels hard at first then thats a good sign.

This is my experience from it.


do them SLOWLY. use a resistance band if you have one and it feels more comfortable. feel the stretch. wider grip easier / less stretch. narrower grip harder / more stretch. start as wide as you need in order to feel a gentle stretch at part of the movement then work on gradually bringing your grip in over time.

if people spend too much time working their anterior delts, and chest (pushing muscles), they can end up with a hunched forwards caveman posture...
the answer is indeed to balance things by working the upper back and pulling muscles. you might need to 'overcompensate' by working the pulling muscles pretty hard in order for you to end up more balanced.

rows are good.

here is an exercise that you might find surprisingly hard (compared to push-ups)

inverted row (reverse push-up):

an easier variant:

the reason why i included those is that they really can be thought of as a reverse push-up. in the sense that balance between pushing and pulling should result in balance between bodyweight pushing and bodyweight pulling movements. i'm not entirely sure whether they are supposed to be exactly equal (one chinup certainly doesn't seem to translate into a bodyweight standing press!)...

perhaps someone else can weigh in on the balance between horizontal and vertical push-pull strength standards?


Make rear delts and upper back a priority.

Work on your posture through out the day.


Check out Neanderthal No More here on T-Nation.



It's a 5 part articles, what I posted was the last part.

Be sure to start reading from the beginning.


Thanks for the routines guys. I think my biggest culprit is sleeping on my shoulders. been trying to sleep on my back and its extremely hard but ive done it the last 2 nights.


I highly doubt that. Unless youre training your lats wrong. Compltely wrong.


What about swimmers then? Tight lats pull the thoracic spine into flexion which promote rounded shoulders.

Edit: Im not saying don't work on your lats.


As a matter of fact, I'd say having poor posture and rounded shoulders isn't anywhat conducive to making a good upper back.


Yeah...really rolled shoulders on him...


Thats truly the type of calibur build we are talking about...

My .02 are just that I had a lot of benefit with some lat/teres/I.F. tissue work within a session feeling that my shoulders could not be pulled back. Working on my lats alone never did shit for me.


I used to have awful shoulder posture too.

You need strong rhomboids, rear delts, mid and lower trapezius, and serratus anteriors. Do face pulls. Pull your shoulder blades down along with your arms when you do pullups. Pull them back when you do rows. Do scapular pushups. (Once your posture is better, overhead pressing will also be good for many of these muscles.)

You need loose pecs, lats, and pec minors. Stretch and foam roll them.

Thoracic mobility, strong external rotation, and mobile internal rotation will help you with related issues that you very well may have too.

Consciously keep good posture throughout the day. Don't sleep on your side.



Thanks for this.