Many of us begin lifting weights for the same reason. We want be look, feel and move better. Unfortunately, many of us come to realise that we don’t have the strength or mobility to perform the exercises we desire. Most people can’t just walk into the gym, pick up a barbell and start squatting deep, nor can they keep a neutral spine during a deadlift. Some even pick up on muscular imbalances whereby particular body parts dominate the movement pattern.

If we were rational, we would outsource help to correct our imbalances before our problem got worse. However we are determined beings. Many of us continue to perform the movement, eager to increase the weight load and grow our muscles.

The body is a phenomenal machine. If you set out to perform a movement which is beyond your capability, the body will fire any muscle it can to execute the movement. This is known a movement compensation. That is, the body’s ability to utilise alternate musculature, ligaments and tendons to perform a movement.

For example, if an individual with weak glutes performs a squat, their body will compensate for this imbalance by overusing the quadriceps. Likewise, if an individual fractures their foot, the body may attempt to protect this region, even after the fracture is healed by placing more weight load on the other foot during exercise. Movement compensation patterns occur for a variety of reasons. Major causes include injury and lifestyle.

WHY I DECIDED TO WRITE THIS SERIES

Modern day living has caused many of us to experience similar movement compensation patterns. Such lifestyle factors include long periods of sitting, computer and phone usage.

If you continue to train without correcting these imbalances, other compensation patterns will follow. Thus, it is extremely important to get advice from a professional in order to ensure optimal movement efficiency. Not only will this limit the risk of injury, it will also help maximise your performance in the gym, thereby improving your physique.

Thus, in an attempt to help as many people as I can get the most out of their training and ultimately be the best functioning version of themselves that they can, I have decided to begin a series of blogs which outline different movement compensation patterns caused by modern day living and how to correct these issues. I will begin this series with one of the major issues associated with extended periods of sitting behind electronics, rounded shoulders.

WHAT CAUSES ROUNDED SHOULDERS?

Sitting with poor posture causes tight chest muscles and weakened upper back muscles. This causes chronic internal rotation of the shoulders. Not only does rounded shoulders look bad, if left untreated, it can reduce shoulder stability and cause subsequent wear and tear of the shoulder joint. This can lead to further injury later down the track.

HOW TO IMPROVE ROUNDED SHOULDERS

There are three areas you should focus on to fix rounded shoulders. These include trigger ball release, stretching and mobilising. In particular, you spend the most time concentrating on stretching and releasing the pectorialis and anterior deltoids (front region of the shoulders) and strengthening the upper back. If you would like individualised advice on how to improve rounded shoulders, make sure to comment below!

To get you started, I have provided 2 mobilisation techniques which can be used to improve rounded shoulders.

THORACIC EXTENSION

HOW TO PERFORM

  1. Place upper back onto foam roller
  2. Gently arch backwards as shown above
  3. Slowly return back to the starting position

HAND BEHIND BACK

HOW TO PERFORM

  1. Place hands on lower back
  2. contract your shoulder blades together to open up your chest

Written by Alana Willis

Alana is a qualified Personal Trainer and is currently completing the Bachelor of Science and Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sydney. With her scientific background, Alana continues to critically analyse her approach to diet and training.

This gives her an edge in training clients using both current and evidence based techniques which are tailored to your individual needs. To start achieving your health and fitness goals today, connect with Alana on Instagram or directly via mobile on 0400 681 528.

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