Hunch Over Your Desk? These Moves Will Sort Out Your Shoulders STAT

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Workouts

Picture someone hunching over their keyboard for the majority of the day, shoulders creeping up towards their ears. Does that hypothetical person sound a lot like you? We’re all guilty of being that person at some point or another. And while we should be more vigilant about sitting up straight, it’s easy to forget when you’re rushing towards that 3pm deadline. That’s why we found four simple shoulder strength exercises that will help you get better posture in very little time.

READ MORE: The 3 Stretches You Should Be Doing Daily

Why You Should Strengthen Your Shoulders For Better Posture

Building up your shoulder strength and mobility will help counteract that urge to hunch, even when you didn’t even realise you were doing it.

“The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, which means there are a lot of things that can go wrong with it,” says physiotherapist Mike Riccardi. “If your shoulders hurt, it’s probably from a combination of a few things, because the shoulder joint is complex. But the one overarching cause is poor posture.” (Did we just see you straighten up?)

The key to beating the hunch is to increase shoulder mobility and build shoulder strength. But you don’t just want to target your traps and anterior deltoids (the showy muscles that you obviously think of as ‘shoulders’). Remember how the shoulder is a complex joint? It also has a whole lot of muscles round back that help stabilise the joint and pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears.

The Workout: 4 Shoulder Strength Exercises For Better Posture

These four simple exercises from coach Lushwill Rossouw will help you get there.

You need: Barbell, two medium to heavy dumbbells and a PVC pipe (don’t have one? A broom or mop will do too, as long as they’re not heavy).

READ MORE: Try This Shy Girl Upper Body Workout If You Lack Confidence At Gym

1. PVC Pipe Complex

Good for: Mobility Do: 3 sets of 5 reps of each move

This is a great warm-up to do before any upper-body workout that’s going to be using your shoulders because it targets different muscles around the joint. The first part hits the traps and anterior deltoids in the front and on top of your shoulders, while the next two hit the muscles at the back.

2. PVC Pipe Shoulder Rotations

Good for: Mobility Do: 10

Another good warm-up, this move takes the joint through its full range of motion. The wider apart your hands, the easier it will feel. Your goal is to warm up, not become a contortionist!

READ MORE: 18 Feel-Good Workouts That’ll Boost Your Mood ASAP

3/ Push Press

Good for: Strength Do: 3 sets of 6-8

Lifting any weight above your head is an easy way to strengthen your shoulders. They difference here is that your stabiliser muscles have to work to control the clumsy barbell. Using your legs for a little boost helps you lift a heavier weight than you would with shoulder strength alone. The real work is controlling that barbell at the top and on the way down and that’s where those rear stabilisers come into their own. Bonus: It’ll also do wonders for your core and triceps.

READ MORE: The Best Back Stretches To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain

4/ Dumbbell Press With Isometric Hold

Good for: Strength Do: 3 sets of 5

Pushing the weights overhead will sculpt those showy muscles at the front and on top of your shoulders, making them look seriously toned and sexy. But here’s the catch: Once they’re overhead, hold them up there, with straight arms, for a count of three. This brings your stabilisers into play to keep the joint, well, stable. Bye-bye hunch, hello toned upper back!

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