Posture Tips to Keep Your Shoulders Down

High levels of stress, exorbitant hours driving and sitting at a computer desk lead to shoulders that draw up toward your neck and round forward. The technical term for this hunchbacked posture is "rounded shoulders." The authors of "Sports Chiropractic" reveal that, if left unaddressed, you may develop spinal disc issues and limited range of motion. Take action to regain proper posture and reduce your risk of pain in the future.

Woman at desk touching her shoulders (Image: NikolayShubin/iStock/Getty Images)

Activate Your Abdominals

Draw your abdominals in and up, as if you had a small zipper that starts at your pelvic floor and rises up your spine. This action will stabilize your torso to give your shoulders a solid platform. The abdominals and the upper back muscles work as a team to create a healthy and upright spine.

Roll Your Shoulders Back

Every hour on the hour, complete three slow shoulder rolls. Make a semicircular movement with your shoulders. Lift your shoulders up to your ears and back to the wall behind you, and then softly slide the bottom tips of your shoulder blades toward each other. When the shoulder blades are drawn toward each other, the upper back muscles support the weight of the upper back and force the shoulders into the proper position, away from the ears.

Stretch Your Chest

Place a yoga bolster or a large pillow on the floor. Lie down on your back so that your head and spine are completely supported by the pillow. Extend your arms out to the side about 45 degrees away from your torso. Allow the weight of your arms to sink toward the floor to stretch your chest. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Stretch Your Lats

Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Position a stability ball about 6 to 8 inches in front of you. Raise your right arm and support your forearm with the stability ball. Reach through the right arm to take your fingers as far away from your torso as possible. For a deeper stretch, rotate the right arm to position the palm of your hand parallel to the wall on the left side of the room. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, switch arms and repeat on the other side.

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