Correcting Hunched Shoulders: Effective Stretches for Improved Posture

Hunched shoulders, also known as kyphosis, can be a concern for various areas of your body. One particular aspect worth addressing is the internal rotation of shoulders, which is often associated with a hunched shoulder posture.

In this blog post, we will explore the causes of this posture and focus on effective stretches to alleviate the condition.

Understanding Internal Rotation of Shoulders

Internal rotation of shoulders, referred to as “巻き肩” in Japanese or, in extreme cases, “Invisible Lat Syndrome” (ILS), can contribute to a hunched shoulder appearance. Some individuals may adopt this posture due to a desire to appear more muscular or physically fit. ILS is characterized by rounded shoulders, arms positioned away from the body, and palms facing backward.

Causes of Internal Rotation of Shoulders

Apart from ego-related factors, several muscle tightness issues can lead to this postural deviation. Tight latissimus dorsi, subscapularis (a rotator cuff muscle), and pectoralis major are common culprits. Engaging these muscles without proper stretching, especially in occupations involving desk work, can contribute to this posture.

It is crucial to pay particular attention to the latissimus dorsi muscles, as their tightness can internally rotate the humerus bone and exacerbate the problem.

Image from Parallel Coaching

Preventing and Correcting Hunched Shoulders

To prevent and correct hunched shoulders, incorporating targeted stretches is essential. The following stretches specifically target the latissimus dorsi:

Standing Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

image from Set for Set

  • Hold a bar with one hand and lean to the opposite side, gradually increasing the stretch.
  • Maintain the position for at least 30 seconds, ensuring a static stretch without bouncing.

Floor Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

image from Myworkouts

  • Kneel on both knees and extend both arms on the ground, placing the hands slightly to the side you wish to stretch.
  • Apply gentle weight or pressure to the opposite side, deepening the stretch.


Correcting hunched shoulders and addressing internal rotation of shoulders is crucial for improving posture and overall musculoskeletal health. By understanding the causes and incorporating targeted stretches, such as those focusing on the latissimus dorsi, individuals can work towards correcting this posture and promoting better alignment and stability.

Remember, consistency and proper technique are key when performing these stretches. Take the necessary steps to address hunched shoulders and experience the benefits of improved posture and reduced discomfort.

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