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  • JEFF: What's up, guys?

  • Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com.

  • Today I want to show you how to fix rounded shoulders in just four steps.

  • As you can see, Jessie, we fixed Jessie.

  • We did fix Jessie.

  • There we go.

  • Jessie, actually, I'm making fun of him, but Jessie had terribly rounded shoulders and

  • you can see that in the before and after photo right here.

  • This was Jessie just months before we started to train him and I know a lot of you that

  • watch this channel have watched him physically transform, in terms of the muscle he's gained,

  • but there's been more to that.

  • More importantly, it's sort of been focusing on the framework first.

  • I don’t believe in building a house off a crappy foundation.

  • You don’t want to do the same thing when you're training.

  • So at the same time we've been really working on his posture.

  • I'm going to show you how, exactly, he did this so you can do the same thing.

  • There are four parts to fixing your posture, but maybe you're not even quite sure exactly

  • if you have it yet.

  • There's a quick way to do this, okay?

  • Just stand up real quick and put your arms at your side.

  • Without doing anything I want you to just look down at the position of your thumbs.

  • I wasn't trying to set you up at all, but I want you to look at the position of your

  • thumbs.

  • Jessie's thumbs, right here, if he were to just stick them outjust extend your thumbs

  • his were actually in this direction.

  • At least they're pointing in this direction, toward you.

  • But a lot of you might find that your thumbs are pointing straight at each other because

  • when they're standing in front, like this, your arms are actually pointed here because

  • your shoulders are too rounded.

  • Now of course, you can look in the mirror too, and have validation of that, but the

  • four things you're going to need to do is, number one: you're going to need to work on

  • the joint.

  • Number two: you're going to have to work on muscles, in terms of the ones that are too

  • weak, and you need to strengthen.

  • Muscles that are tight, you're going to need to stretch, and then we're going to have work

  • on habits, too.

  • So let's get started right away with the joint itself.

  • Okay, so we talked about 'joint' and you're thinking, probably, what?

  • The shoulder is messed up.

  • If it's rounded it's got to be the shoulder.

  • But ironically, it's not.

  • The joint that you're going to really want to focus on the most is your back.

  • More specifically, your mid-back; the thoracic spine.

  • What happens is, this gets really, really, adaptably tight on most of us, and when it

  • does, and it starts to round out what does it do?

  • It takes everything with it.

  • Not just the head, but the shoulders come with it.

  • But if we can get an extension through the thoracic spine everything kind of goes back

  • quickly.

  • It's a lot a faster way to fix it.

  • Now, if you're an athletewhich a lot of our viewers areyou can get a tight,

  • posterior shoulder capsule.

  • If that's the case you can do the sleeper stretch I'm showing you right here.

  • That will help to attack the shoulder itself that might be making the head of the humerus

  • here kind of skirt forward, and be rounded, but in most cases that's not necessarily going

  • to be your biggest thing.

  • It's more likely going to be this mid-back.

  • So what we can do here – I'm trying to keep this really simple so you don’t have to

  • have a lot of equipmentyou can get down on the floor and do what we think is one of

  • the most effective stretches you can do in mobilization for the thoracic spine.

  • That is what Jessie's doing here.

  • He simply puts his arms up, over his head at about a 45 degree angle, and as he rotates

  • back he tries to rotate, and keep himself, and his chest wide open.

  • What we're getting here is, we're getting elevation of the arms overhead, but at the

  • same time we're getting this extension through the thoracic spine.

  • So that's opening him up.

  • It's really easy.

  • All he has to do is work on going to the left, and to the right side.

  • You do this just a few times each day, or at least three, or four times a week, and

  • you'll start to see a huge difference.

  • That's one of the main things he did to start opening this are up.

  • If you want to start using equipment you can feel free to use a foam roller.

  • Put it across the thoracic spine and work on trying to mobilize through that are.

  • But again, I don’t even think it's really that necessary.

  • I think if you're a little more consistent with this you'd have a lot better effect from

  • doing that.

  • So now, if we're going to talk about muscles we've got to see the muscles, right?

  • I talked about Jessie actually making the transformation, but what we're concerned about

  • here is, we've got to decide what is tight, and what is weak.

  • If you turn Jessie to the side, and you get in this position here you can see that we

  • have a series of muscles that are going to get tight, and we have a series of muscles

  • that are going to get weak.

  • It's called 'Upper Cross Syndrome' because of the way that they cross each other.

  • So as we get into the dysfunction here, you get tightness here through the chest, you

  • get tightness here through these muscles in the upper back.

  • The levator and the traps.

  • Then, at the same time, because all this stuff gets stretched out we get weakness through

  • a lot of the muscles of the scapula, we get weakness of the muscles inside the scapula,

  • and we get weakness and tightness of the muscles inside the neck as well.

  • So what we want to do is, we want to correct this.

  • So let's start with the stretching.

  • With the stretching, the two that I'm most concerned about because he's got all this

  • internal rotation here of his arms, is the subscapularis, which is one of the four rotator

  • cuff muscles, but it's the only one that internally rotates, as opposed to externally rotates.

  • Then the other thing we get is the pec minor.

  • So, the pec minor is actually a really interesting one because it comes in from right inside

  • here, and it comes down, and it connects to the ribs.

  • Now, what that would doyou can see, if this got tight and I were to pull this down,

  • it's going to pull the shoulder forward, around this way, it's going to pull it down, and

  • it's going to tilt it this way.

  • It's going to bring it from here, to here.

  • So all this stuff is obviously horrible if you have a problem with your rounded shoulders.

  • So we can actually address both of those.

  • So let's go to the subscapularis first.

  • What Jessie would do if he's going to stretch that out is, we know, again, it's an internal

  • rotator of the shoulder.

  • So we've got to get into external rotation.

  • So that means he's got to take his arm, get it out, into external rotation as much as

  • he can.

  • So reaching back this way.

  • After he gets in that position he's going to hook his arm up, against something.

  • The edge of a doorway is fine.

  • All you're going to need to do all this stuff I'm going to show you is a band, and a doorway.

  • Get into this thing here.

  • I'm going to show you from below, here.

  • You're striding out.

  • Once it's hooked in here you're just going to rotate your chest that way, over there,

  • and try to keep reaching back here.

  • Like that.

  • So Jessie, come on in.

  • so he gets up into position here, external rotation.

  • It should look like he's getting ready to throw a baseball as a pitcher.

  • He strides out, he's in here, he's externally rotated, and now he starts to rotate all this

  • that way.

  • And you can feel all that right inside the armpit, right?

  • JESSIE: Yeah.

  • JEFF: That's the thing.

  • You just want to hold that for about 30 seconds at a time.

  • Again, do it a few times a week.

  • It's going to really help to loosen it up.

  • Now, for the pec minor here.

  • What he would do is, he would get himself in the position here, and he'd want to do

  • the opposite of those three things I just told you.

  • If it's tilting it forward this way he can use the edge of the doorway to actually keep

  • it pushed back.

  • So he's taking the door, pushing into this to actually hold it back.

  • Once he's there, the next thing is, he can pinch his shoulder blades together to get

  • that activated.

  • We'll show you again here what it looks like, more in depth.

  • As he gets there, the last thing he needs to doif it's trying to tilt him down,

  • this waywell, he can get it to go up by raising the arm up.

  • So with that stretch he can feel the pec minor being stretched right there.

  • JESSIE: Yeah, I can.

  • JEFF: You can see here on the muscle marker, you can see as he does it how this gets stretched,

  • and elongated just by going through these three positions.

  • So we actually hit the two biggest problem areas.

  • The subscapularis and then here, with the doorway, and we've got a big dent into correcting

  • the tightness that's causing this problem.

  • Now we've got to attack the strengthening side of it.

  • So now we've got to get to the muscles.

  • The muscles we have are, again, they're weak.

  • So if we strengthen them we're going to help get this stuff back.

  • We talked about, if the internal rotators are tight that means, likely, the external

  • rotators are weak.

  • So if we can get the rotator cuff to work, we'd be doing a good thing.

  • If we can get the rhomboidsthe muscles that pinch the shoulder blades togetherwe'd

  • be doing a good thing.

  • We're getting the shoulders back.

  • If we can get the lower traps to work, that pull the shoulder blades back and set them

  • down, nice and tall, then that would be doing a good thing, too.

  • If we could also get the serratus anteriorwhich is a muscle that's relied upon for

  • stability of the shoulder blade to get it nice, and backthen we can do that, too.

  • We need to incorporate all these things into one exercise, or at least two exercises because

  • I want to try to keep it simple.

  • So we use a band.

  • Remember, just a wall and a band is all that's needed.

  • The first one that we do is, you take the band andit's a variation of a pull apart.

  • A pull apart alone is not enough.

  • If we do a regular pull apart, what we want to do here is make it better.

  • So as we go to open the band up what we're going to do is, we're going to also try to

  • externally rotate.

  • So as he comes and pulls the band apart he keeps trying to turn his thumbs back.

  • So they're coming back in this direction, here.

  • So he doesn't just keep them here, pointed up to the ceiling, and just keep going back

  • like this.

  • He wants to go back, and at the same time, rotate the hands out.

  • Perfect.

  • Now do a couple of them.

  • Now, on the way back he comes in nice, and slow.

  • And go back again.

  • He's making sure to not feed into the problem even more because I told you that these muscles

  • get tight.

  • So show them what would look wrong.

  • If he shrugged this, if you shrug it up as you gowhich a lot of people doyou're

  • literally defeating the purpose of what you're trying to do.

  • So you've got to keep these down, and then you go back, externally rotate the thumbs,

  • all the way back, behind you, and squeeze it as hard as you can here.

  • Again, he's keeping this down, he reaches back, he's squeezing in through here, externally

  • rotating the thumbsbasically pointing back toward you at the back there.

  • Good.

  • One more.

  • Pull back.

  • Right there.

  • Good.

  • Now what we're looking for hereand your rep scheme should always bethat's good,

  • Jess, for that one.

  • Your rep scheme should always be 20 sets of 1, rather than 1 set of 20 because quality,

  • quality, quality.

  • The problem is your muscles.

  • They're there, they're just not firing right.

  • So if we can get them to fire right we're much better off.

  • Now, the last one we want to do is, you want to work on the serratus.

  • We want to work on the lower traps.

  • So we've got to get the arms up, over our head, and we can do it with the band.

  • So here, now you turn to the side a little bit.

  • For here, what you're going to do is, you're going to protract your arms out.

  • So once you get in this tall positionget as nice, and tall as you can from herenow,

  • once you're here you just reach your armright.

  • You reach your arms out just a little bit, still keeping this nice, and tall, just to

  • get your arms protracted without rounding the back, because we don’t want to do that.

  • So we're here, protract.

  • Now, maintaining that protraction there, he's going to turn the arms out again into external

  • rotation, just until he has good tension on the band, and now from here, he's just going

  • to raise it up, overhead.

  • Just like that.

  • And down.

  • And reset everything.

  • So here, tight, a little protraction, externally rotate, screw it out, raise the arms up, and

  • come down.

  • Quality reps here, every, single time is going to be the key for correcting this, and getting

  • these muscles to be fixed.

  • All right, guys.

  • Lastly, we've got to talk about the habits because remember; you didn’t' get this way

  • in one day.

  • I'm sure as a kid you didn't walk around like this all the time.

  • You probably walked around with good posture.

  • You just did things to yourself over the years that put you in that position.

  • So I'm going to give you one thing, because I know it's really hard to overcome this.

  • So you need some sort of feedback.

  • One thing for standingbecause we're going to spend half the day standingand one

  • thing for sitting down.

  • When you sit down all you have to do is take a tennis ball and put it behind your shoulder

  • blades, right here, right there, up against the back of the chair.

  • What you're going to find is, the second you start to fall into that rounded shoulder posture

  • the tennis ball is going to drop behind you in the chair.

  • So it's instant feedback that you did something wrong.