So many people today have tight rounded shoulders partly as a consequence of carrying heavy bags and sitting at a desk all day. There are two ways to address this: First, stretch the overdeveloped and tight muscles. This includes the shoulders, chest and usually the lats for most people. Second, strengthen the upper back to help you pull the shoulders back and hold them in place.
Here are some simple techniques to help you achieve this:
1. Shoulder Opener
Begin by lying flat on your stomach to get into the shoulder opener. Bring one arm straight out beside you in a T-shape with the palm placed on the floor. Begin to roll your body weight towards the extended arm so that your chest is lifted towards the other side of the room.
Your head can either rest on the floor or on a block if it’s more comfortable for you. Make sure there is a straight line from your shoulder to your wrist. Hold for about a minute or for as long as you’d like to stay in that position.
2. Chest Opener
This is a variation of the shoulder opener that gets deeper into the chest muscles. Everything is the same as the shoulder opener but the elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle with palms pressing into the floor. Hold for about a minute or as long as you’d like to stay in it.
This pose stretches the front of the shoulders and also unlocks the upper back. To get into it, lie face-down on your stomach. Thread one arm underneath the other, trying to bring both arms out in a T-shape with palms down. Come high onto the tips of your toes and shift your weight forward and relax into the pose again to help you get your shoulders over your elbows. Rest your chin in the space between the elbows.
There are so many more yoga poses that do well for the chest and chest, but these are highly effective. Start with them and you’ll see a distinct flexibility in the said muscles.