Are you a victim of shoulder slump? Too much time spent at a desk, in the car, or under stress can leave our bodies lacking proper posture. It may not seem like a super big deal, but poor posture can increase physical stresses on the body (and leave us looking less than confident in photos). Luckily, there are ways to fix shoulder slump and improve pain, posture, and appearance. But first, how do slumped shoulders affect body language?

Body Language

Curved, rounded shoulders can cause others to interpret our body language negatively. In an article put out by Forbes, social psychologist Amy Cuddy speaks on the body language of shoulders. “If you scan your body right now and find that your shoulders are hunched, not only are you putting strain on those muscles, you are likely communicating anxiety and defensiveness to yourself and others,” quoted Amy.

Even if you’re not feeling that way, and perhaps your slouching shoulders have come about from poor posture (i.e., sitting at a desk all day, hunched cooking over a stovetop, or sitting stuck in traffic), your body language is how others interpret you. Bodybuilders may experience rounded shoulders caused by overactive muscles – the pectoralis major and minor (chest). There are exercises to help combat this.

Exercises to Help Fix Rounded/Slouched Shoulders

  • Seated Cable Row

  • Back Fly with Band

  • Shoulder External Rotation

  • Rear-Delt Row

How Stretching Helps

Stretching can help ease the muscles that may be stiff or tense from working out. Try performing some of the stretches below to help improve shoulder posture and muscle strength.

  • Front Deltoid Stretch

  • Elbows-Back Stretch

  • Chest Stretch on Stability Ball

  • Dynamic Chest Stretch

  • Chair Upper-Body Stretch

  • Goalpost Stretch

  • Back Bound Hand Stretch

  • Shoulder Blade Squeeze

  • Supine “T”

  • Wall Angels

Sources:

  1. Bruce, Jan. “Is Your Body Language A Dead Giveaway? Three Postures That Raise Red Flags.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Sept. 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/janbruce/2014/09/30/is-your-posture-a-dead-giveaway-three-postures-that-raise-red-flags/#1f1181b4f9a6.
  2. Schmidt, Kendall Lou. “Posture Power: How To Correct Your Body’s Alignment.” Bodybuilding.com, Bodybuilding.com, 14 June 2017, www.bodybuilding.com/content/posture-power-how-to-correct-your-body-alignment.html.
  3. Rabbitt, Meghan. “7 Exercises That Instantly Un-Hunch Your Shoulders.” Prevention, Prevention, 20 July 2018, www.prevention.com/fitness/g20489329/7-exercises-that-instantly-un-hunch-your-shoulders/.