When you spend the majority of your time with your arms in front of you, it becomes habit for your body to round the shoulders. As a result, the muscles in the upper back and neck strain, overstretch and overwork. The chest muscles shorten, the small muscles between the shoulder blades weaken and the back muscles stretch and lengthen. Smaller muscles that are not designed to be postural muscles have to work doing a job they were not designed to do.
And all this poor posture can have a tremendous impact on our health. Poor posture causes all sorts of muscle and ligament imbalances which can lead to chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, fatigue, difficulty breathing and other more devastating health problems. If you are having pain, its important to see a physical therapist and/or a chiropractor who can help your muscle imbalances and align your spine properly.
When your body is aligned it means that your heels, knees, pelvis, and neck are directly stacked on top of each. Your body will not only be able to move so much more efficiently, but you will be able to carry heavier loads, tire less easily, have better digestion and will be less susceptible to injury.
The good news is that the earlier we catch our rounded shoulders and bad posture and take steps to correct it, the greater and faster the results. And if youve had bad posture and rounded shoulders for awhile, be patient. With gentle yoga poses and stretches like the ones below, you will start to see excellent posture results over time. You will also notice increased shoulder flexibility and less chance of shoulder injuries.