Stretches for rounded shoulders – 5 easy exercises to open up your posture

What does havinggood,bad posture ’rounded shoulders’ mean?

Rounded shoulders are a very common postural issue. You’ve probably seen someone with a very bad posture with their shoulders slouching forward. Having rounded shoulders means that your shoulder position has moved forward from its ideal alignment.

In general, having poor posture habits is the most common reason for having rounded shoulders. Overly tight chest muscles, weak upper back muscles, muscle imbalances, sleeping in a bad position or slouching when seated can also contribute to the problem. Having rounded shoulders can result in unnecessary pain and tension in the upper body, neck, and shoulders, but it also increases the risk of shoulder impingement and a chance of further injury.

Sitting at your desk all day bent over a computer screen or driving for prolonged periods will put you in a higher risk of having rounded shoulders. Only focusing on chest strength at the gym and neglecting the upper back muscles can also lead to having rounded shoulders. It’s highly important to focus on strengthening your body all over to avoid any kind of muscle imbalances. Our Personal Trainers can help you get started on your fitness journey or help correct your form and get you on the right track!

Regular stretching and strengthening can help you move your shoulder position back to its ideal alignment.  Here are some easy and simple stretching exercises for keeping your shoulders healthy. These exercises can be done anywhere with minimal equipment!

Bound arm stretch

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together
  • Bring both arms behind your back and grab the right elbow with left hand, and the left elbow with your right hand
  • Take a few breaths and keep lifting your chest
  • Repeat other side
back bound hand pose

Shoulder squeeze

  • Bring your shoulder blades down and back
  • Clasp your hands behind your back
  • Slowly lift your arms as far as you’re comfortable with

Shoulder squeeze strecth all

‘Cow face’ stretch

  • Place the back of your left hand on your lower back and slide it up as far as feels comfortable for you
  • Stretch your right arm up and bend your elbow reaching behind you to get a hold of your left hand
  • If this feels difficult, don’t worry! Only go as far as you feel comfortable with, even if you can’t bring your hands together
  • Repeat on the other side

cow face all


  • Lie on your stomach on a comfortable surface
  • Place your palms downwards and keep your elbows close to your torso
  • Slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen keeping your navel on the floor
  • Hold for a couple of breaths


Chair stretch

  • Find a sturdy chair or another surface to hold on to
  • Place your hands on the back of the chair palms shoulder width apart
  • Step your feet back until they align with hips and create an angle with your body
  • Bring your spine parallel to the floor
  • Keep reaching your hips away from your hands and lengthen through the side waist
chair strecth