You’re not alone if you have rounded shoulders. Your desk, couch, and car all provide a comfortable place to sit, but they slouch you forward in a C-curve. In ancient times, this was a protective posture that decreased the target area of your vital organs. It’s helpful if you’re in a fight, but if this position is held too long, your back muscles overstretch, potentially causing pain.
Counter this position by elongating the front of your body into an arch. Your back muscles shorten, giving them a chance to relax. Shoulder tension may release, offering more space to breathe deeply.
You really need to do this important stretch EVERY DAY.
Roll a thick blanket or towel or use a foam roller, or even a pool noodle from the dollar store as a support. The noodle can be cut into thirds allowing you to keep one at your desk, in your car, and at home. Lie with your face up, with the bolster behind your ribs where your bra strap is (sorry, men, I couldn’t think of another reference point). Adjust the pillow as needed, as long as it’s behind your upper back, not lower lumbar area. You can also turn it 90 degrees to run along your spine. You may need a different spot each day.
Bend your knees and place both feet on the floor if you have lower back tension. Place your arms overhead or down by your side. Most importantly, stay there for at least two full minutes. Enjoy the effect of melting into the floor. I like this stretch best at the end of the day, but there is no right or wrong time to do this stretch.