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Improving rounded shoulders in your clients

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:14pm

by Lesley Powell

“I am looking for some advice- I have a client coming in with upper cross syndrome due to large breasts and poor posture. Can you talk about what exercises would be beneficial for this client?” Teacher

New Posture

When trying to improve alignment, you need to observe what is tight and weak.  Put yourself into the posture of your client.  What joints/body parts feel shorten in space and muscle length?  What muscles did you stop using in that posture?

Depending on your client;

  • Stretching tight muscles can help the client get to the muscles needed to work.
  • Strengthening the weak muscles can help release the tight muscles.

Upper Cross Syndrome is a client with a forward head and round shoulders.


  • Pec-major and minor. This could be pulling the shoulders forward
  • Upper trapezius- Lifting the scapula up
  • Levator Scapulae-Lifting the scapula up
  • Sternocleidomastoid- Locking the head on the neck
  • Scalenes- Pulling the head forward and rounding the back
  • Subscapularis- affecting the shouder blades in having round shoulders
  • Lats- Short, tight Lats could be rounding the back and bringing the scapula in downward rotation
  • Mobility of the spine in all planes especially extension
  • Work on mobility of the scapula such as arm circles
  • full arm circle 2


  • strengthen back extensors of the neck & back
  • MIddle & lower traps- helps with shoulder stability and placement
  • Anterior serraus- helps with shoulder stability and placement
  • Rhomboid- helps with shoulder stability and placement
  • Rotator cuff- helps with shoulder stability and placement
  • How are legs affecting posture
  • Strengthen core especially in relationship to neutral spine and extension
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