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6 Stretch Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders

6 Stretch Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders

To see if you have rounded shoulders, try looking at yourself in the mirror and let your arms fall naturally by your side. If your knuckles are facing you, then there’s a high chance you’re suffering from it.

When we slouch at our desk all day, we’re actually doing more harm to our spines and muscles than we can ever imagine. Our back muscles are stretched and strained, our chest muscles are shortened, the muscles in our shoulder blades weaken, all of which causing us to look like hunched back ogres.

To prevent from suffering such an unsightly feature, here are 6 simple stretch exercises that you can do every day.

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1. Shoulder Squeeze Stretch

The shoulder squeeze stretch exercise is so effective yet so simple to do that you can do it in your office while at work. Simply lock both hands behind your back and stretch as far back as possible. To do this effectively, you can pretend that you have an orange in between your arms and you are going to squeeze the juice out of it. Do this for 10 seconds per stretch 3-4 times a day.

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    2. Band Stretching Exercise

    With a little bit of resistance to the stretch, using an exercise band to stretch those worn out shoulders is also a great way to keep your posture in check. The external rotation with the band as shown below helps stretch the rotator cuff which is a group of tendons around the shoulder blades. To do this, simply wrap the band around a sturdy structure and with one hand, simply pull the band in a 180-degree motion towards you. Go back to the original position slowly and do for 10-15 repetitions per arm.

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      3. The Baby Cobra

      The baby cobra looks like a plank but has a different function to it. Doing the baby cobra pose actually helps to stretch those back muscles that are used to go into slouch position at almost half of your day. To perform this, simply lie flat on your stomach with your hands beside your shoulders. Slowly lift yourself up until you can feel the stretch on your lower back. Slowly go back down and repeat 10-12 times.

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        4. Bridge

        The bridge pose stretches your chest, shoulders and back. Not only that, it also helps you calm you down and helps to rejuvenate your tired legs. Simply lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground. Taking a deep breath, lift your hips off the floor as high as you can but without discomfort. Tuck your shoulders in and lock your hands together under your waist. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat 10-12 times.

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          5. Camel Pose

          The camel pose is an intermediate stretch position but when done correctly, it can give you an effective stretch on your back and shoulders. To do this, kneel on the floor with both legs flat and parallel to the ground. Push your buttocks forward and grasp a structure such as a chair behind. Breathe and lift your chest up to the sky and feel the stretch. Hold this position for 10-12 seconds and repeat.

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            6. Planking

            Planking has had a good reputation among people with back injuries or shoulder stiffness. The plank is so easy and effective and it also has an impressive list of benefits if done frequently. Some of the benefits include balance and posture, flexibility and what we’ve always wanted – a toned belly. Simply lie on your stomach and using your arms to support yourself, lift yourself up to get into the plank position with your back and buttocks parallel to the ground. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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