Did you know that smartphones and tablets can affect your posture? This is due to the hunched-over position that so many of us submit to, along with the natural pull of gravity that causes problems beyond aesthetics.
When the shoulders roll forward, so does the upper back and neck. This, in turn, leads to pain and discomfort, creating a domino effect as it not only shifts your balance and gait, but can ultimately close off the rib cage and make it difficult to breathe. This is one of the many reasons it’s so important to spend time strengthening your shoulders. There are a number of fitness exercises that you can perform in the gym to help with posture and building shoulder strength.
Kneeling Reverse Fly
The next time you’re in the gym, give your shoulders some attention by performing the kneeling reverse fly. This particular movement helps to strengthen the muscles that open the shoulders and pull them back, which can improve posture.
Leave your left foot flat on the floor in front of you and kneel on your right knee. Lightly lean forward while keeping a straight back, and extend your arms toward the floor while you keep your palms facing down. Lift your arms out to the side, rotating your palms to face the ceiling. Make sure this movement is slow and controlled for 10 reps.
Forward Butterfly Circles
This exercise mobilizes your deltoids and helps to improve range of motion in the shoulders. When performing this exercise, stand tall and engage your core. Keep your palms down and extend your arms, making large forward circles. If you feel pain during this exercise, try bending your elbows, or make smaller forward circles.
Out, Return, Down
Stand tall with your arms by your sides. Lift your arms in front of you with your palms facing down, completing slow and controlled movements. Then, bring your arms out to the sides, allowing your body to form a T-shape. Return to the starting position.
When you incorporate these movements consistently into your daily routine, you may find yourself standing taller and feeling more capable as you go about your everyday activities.
This article was adapted from Silver Sneakers. Read the full article here.
If you have any questions about exercises for healthy shoulders, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.