Many cases of excessive mid back rounding (or “increased thoracic kyphosis”) can be corrected with mid back stretches and thoracic mobilisation. (Plus avoiding the most cause—slumped sitting posture.) Here’s the best exercises to help straighten a hunchback posture (& rounded shoulders) that I’ve come across in 30 years of practice.
0:11 EXERCISE 1. Active Towel Extension
1:23 EXERCISE 2. MODIFIED Downward Facing Dog
2:54 Exercise 2 Variation (& Progression)
3:25 Causes of Increased Mid Back Rounding
Both of these thoracic spine mobility exercises include a dynamic component (movement to mobilise mid back joints) and a static component to stretch mid-back muscles. But the movement also allows for one of the most important aspects of creating change in soft tissue—eccentric contraction—which is more effective than static stretching.
Do them in order. The towel exercise loosens restricted mid back joints and this helps the second exercise stretch the mid back more. Downward Facing Dog can do wonders for excessive kyphosis, but most people with a rounded mid back have a really stiff spine (and tight hamstring muscles!) so the variations I show are easier to do.
But no amount of exercises are going to make a difference if you don’t address the cause, and slumped sitting posture is the most common cause, so watch until the end!
Now there are other causes of a hunchback posture. Scheuermann’s disease is a partially hereditary disease that can cause a hunched back. Ankylosing Spondylitis and vertebral body collapse as part of osteoporosis are other possibilities, so always get a professional assessment if you experience pain or don’t see results
The 5 Best Exercises to Relieve a Stiff or Painful Mid Back
The 3 Ultimate Neck Hump Exercises… After 1 Year Of Trying EVERYTHING
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