Put Your Shoulders in Place: Progressive Posture Alignment, Part 3

Don’t let slumped shoulders throw your posture out of whack, fix them now.



Welcome to week three of my four-week program for better posture and alignment. The focus of this week is shoulder alignment.

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If you spend any time whatsoever driving a car or typing at a computer, your shoulders have likely rounded forward into an internally rotated position. Get those shoulders out of their slump by following this daily routine:

Week Three Exercises: Standing Overhead Extension

  1. Stand against a wall with your feet hip width apart, and your heels touching the wall.
  2. Interlace your fingers, and bring your arms overhead with your elbows straight.
  3. Breathe into your rib cage and hold for one minute.
  4. Be sure to keep your toes relaxed.

The purpose of this exercise is to improve thoracic extension while challenging posture muscles of your entire body, from your feet to your hands.

Week Three Exercises: Standing Elbow Curls

  1. Stay standing against the wall, and place your hands into a golfer’s grip by bending your fingers at the second knuckle while keeping your thumbs sticking straight out.
  2. Place your knuckles at your temple with your thumbs pointing down toward the floor.
  3. Bring your elbows to touch in front of your face, then bring them all the way back to touch the wall.
  4. Repeat for about 15-30 repetitions, until both sides of your shoulders begin to feel equal.

This exercise will work the rotator cuff, rhomboid, and deltoid muscles and will give your shoulders a reminder of how to move like a hinge.

Week Three Exercises: Standing Arm Circles

  1. Stand away from the wall with your feet straight and hip width apart, and place your hands back into the same golfer’s grip you used for the standing elbow curls.
  2. Bring your arms straight out to your sides, with your elbows locked out straight and your palms facing down towards the floor.
  3. Pinch your shoulder blades together and circle your arms forward 40 times.
  4. Then face your palms up toward the celling and circle up and back 40 times.
  5. Be sure to keep your stomach relaxed throughout the exercise.

This exercise strengthens the muscles of the upper back, and engages the ball-and-socket function of the shoulder.

Learn more about posture alignment and its impact on your health: