How To Fix Hunchback Posture

What is Hunchback posture?

hunchback posture

Hunchback Posture (also known as having a pronounced Thoracic Kyphosis) is where the upper back is excessively rounded forward.

The thoracic spine forms a curved-like appearance (… which resembles the letter “C”).

What causes a Hunchback posture?

Here are 6 different causes of the Hunchback Posture. Which one relates to you?


a) Poor sitting posture

causes of thoracic kyphosis hunchback posture

Think about it:

What is your posture throughout the day?… Are you sitting up right?… Or is your back slouching forward?

The position you habitually place your body throughout the majority of the day is what your posture will naturally default to in the long term.

b) Sleeping Position

sleeping position hunchback posture

Generally speaking – one would be in their sleeping position for 6-8 hours per day.

Therefore – your sleeping position has a great potential to affect your posture.

The following sleeping postures can lead to a hunched upper back:

  • Sleeping on the Side (Fetal position)
  • Sleeping on the Stomach with arms tucked underneath the chest
  • Sleeping on the Back with too many pillows underneath the head

c) Confidence

Did you know that your level of confidence can affect your posture!

Low confidence and/or self esteem may present itself through a hunched posture.

d) Gut issues

Abdominal pain can force the body to adopt a curled up/hunched posture.

e) Excessive abdominal crunching

Excessive sit ups/crunches can lead to tight upper abdominal muscles.

This can result in the thoracic spine being pulled into a slouched posture.

f) Conditions

A pronounced upper back curve is also characteristic in conditions such as Osteoporosis and Scheuermann’s disease.

(With these structural conditions – there will likely be a limit as to how much we can affect the shape of the spine.)


Did you know… You will actually become shorter when you have a Hunchback posture!


What muscles are involved with Hunchback Posture?

The following muscles will be addressed in the exercise section.


a) Tight muscles

  • Pectoralis Major/Minor
  • Upper Abdominals
  • Anterior Intercostals
  • Latissimus Dorsi

b) Weak muscles

  • Thoracic Erector Spinae

Test for Hunchback Posture

Here are 3 simple ways to determine if your thoracic spine is hunching forwards.


a) Observation

Instructions:

  • Take a photo of your side profile.
  • Take note of the shape of your upper back.

Results: If you can observe a obvious curve in your upper back, then it is likely that you have a Hunchback Posture.

b) Wall Test

test for thoracic kyphosis (hunchback posture)

Instructions:

  • Stand up with your back to a wall.
    • Have your feet away from the wall.
  • Aim to have your whole spine flat against the wall.
  • Do not over arch your lower back.
  • Can you keep your spine and the back of your head/neck in contact with the wall?

Results: If you are unable to keep your spine and back of head/neck in contact with the wall, then it is likely that you have Hunchback Posture.


How to fix Hunchback posture

1.  Releases

The tight muscles associated with the hunched posture will need to be released.


a) Chest

chest release for hunchback posture

Instructions:

  • Lie facing downwards on the floor.
  • Place a massage ball underneath the chest region.
  • Relax your body weight on top of the ball.
  • Perform a gentle circular motion over the ball.
  • Keep your muscles relaxed throughout exercise.
  • Be sure to cover the entire chest muscle.
  • Perform this release for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

b) Upper Abdominal

thoracic kyphosis (hunchback posture) releases

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Position a massage ball underneath the upper abdominal region.
  • Place your body weight on top of the ball.
  • Make sure to keep your abdominal muscles completely relaxed.
    • (Tip: Taking deep breaths in/out will help with this. )
  • Make sure to cover the entire area slightly below the lower rib cage.
  • Continue for 60 seconds on each side.

(Note: DO NOT place an excessive amount of pressure into your abdominal region! There are many sensitive organs in this area which can be subject to injury when too much pressure is applied.)

c) Latissimus Dorsi

releases for thoracic kyphosis

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your side.
  • Locate the Latissimus Dorsi muscle.
  • Place a foam roller directly under these muscles.
  • Apply an appropriate amount of body weight onto the foam roller.
  • Roll your body in an up/down motion.
  • Make sure you cover the entire muscle.
  • Duration: Continue for 2 minutes on each side.

d) Intercostal (Anterior)

(The anterior Intercostals are the muscles which are located between the ribs at the front of the chest.)

intercostal releases

Instructions:

  • Locate ribs 6-10 at the front of your lower chest.
    • (If you place your palms on the ribs below the nipple region, you should be in the right area.)
  • Locate the Intercostal muscles which are situated between the rib bones.
  • Using your finger tips, firmly press into these muscles.
  • Once you have found an area of increased tension, take a deep breath in as you start to sink your fingers into the muscle.
  • Continue for 60 seconds on each side.

2.  Stretches

The tight muscles associated with the hunched posture will need to be stretched.


a) Chest

Chest stretch

Instructions:

  • Place your hand/forearm up on a door frame.
  • Pull your shoulder blade backwards.
  • Lunge forward.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the chest region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.

For more stretches:

See post: Chest Stretches

b) Abdominal/Intercostal

upper abdominal stretch

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Keep your belly button in contact with the floor.
  • Apply pressure through your hands and lean backwards.
  • Take a deep breath into your abdominal region.
  • Aim to feel a deep stretch in the upper abdominal region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • To increase the stretch: You can angle one side of the rib cage closer to the floor.

Want more stretches for the abdominal region? See post: 11 Abdominal Stretches To Reduce Tightness.

c) Latissmus Dorsi

latissimus dorsi stretch

Instructions:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Bend all the way to one side whilst reaching your arm over.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your body to the lower back.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Alternate sides.

For more stretches like this:

See post: Latissimus Dorsi Stretches

d) Prolonged stretch

hunchback posture stretches

Instructions:

  • Lie on the floor with your bottom at the base of a couch.
  • Place your legs onto a couch so that your hips and knee are bent at 90 degrees.
  • Place your arms towards your sides.
  • Relax in this position for 5 minutes.
  • If tolerated, you can place your arms in the over head position.
  • Note: If required – Use a pillow to support your neck.

3.  Joint mobilization

If the joints in the thoracic spine are locked/stiff, it will be very difficult to change the position of the spine.


a) Stretch into flexion

(The goal with this exercise is to create space between the joints.)

Instructions:

  • Sit down on the edge of a chair.
  • Interlock your fingers behind your neck.
  • Proceed to gently pull your neck downwards.
  • Round the upper back forwards as much as possible.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in your thoracic spine area.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Take deep breaths in whilst in this position
    • Imagine the air expanding the area between your shoulder blades.

b) Thoracic rotation

thoracic rotation

Instructions:

  • Sit down on a chair.
  • Place your hands as shown in the above picture.
  • Rotate your spine (as if to look behind you).
    • Apply force through your hands to provide additional pressure to the movement.
  • Oscillate in this end range position for 30 repetitions.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Note: Aim to feel the movement from your upper back, NOT your lower back.

c) Translations

(This stretch is described to stretch the right Upper back area.)

Instructions:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs towards your left.
  • Place the right hand on the floor to your right side.
  • Keep the right arm completely straight throughout this stretch.
  • Relax your right shoulder as you lean your weight onto the right arm.
  • Glide/Shift your torso towards the right.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the right upper back region.
  • You can increase the stretch by taking a deep breath in.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

d) Segmental cat/cow

Instructions:

  • Get into the 4 point kneel position.
    • Hands in line with shoulder joint. Knees in line with hip joint.
  • Starting from the neck: Proceed to round your spine down one vertebra at a time until you reach mid-back.
  • From here: Start from the mid-back and arch your spine one vertebra at a time until you reach the neck.
  • (Imagine the movement like a wave going through your spine.)
  • Repeat 20 times.

For more stretches to the Upper Back:

See post: Thoracic Spine Stretches


4.  Thoracic extension Exercises

The following exercises are design to specifically reverse the forward hunched position of the upper back.


a) Thoracic Extension (Foam roller)

exercises for hunchback posture

Instructions:

  • Position yourself over a foam roller.
  • Support your head with your hands
  • Arch backwards.
  • Make sure you do not flare your lower rib cage out.
    • DO NOT arch your lower back. It is imperative that you isolate the movement to the upper back region only.
  • Oscillate in the end range position for 30 repetitions.
  • Repeat times.

Note: If using a foam roller is uncomfortable, try using something thinner. (eg. rolled up towel)

You may feel a few clicks as you perform this exercise. This is normal. It is a release of pressure within the joint space.

b) Wall Lean

thoracic extension on wall

Instructions:

  • Place both hands high up on a wall in front of you.
  • Lean firmly into your hands.
  • DO NOT over arch your lower back.
    • Keep your lower rib cage down.
  • Aim to feel tension in the middle of your thoracic spine.
  • Oscillate for 30 repetitions.
  • Repeat times.

c) Forward Lean on Table

best exercise for hunchback posture

Instructions:

  • Kneel in front of a chair.
  • Place the back of your elbows on the seat.
  • Keep the elbows close together.
  • Keep your shoulder blades pulled backwards throughout this exercise.
  • Do not arch your lower back.
  • Lower your torso down as low as possible.
  • Aim to feel tension in the middle of your back.
  • Perform 30 repetitions.

5.  Strengthening Exercise

Once the upper back is more flexible, the next important step is to strengthen the muscles which will promote better posture.


a) Superman

strengthening exercises for hunchback posture (thoracic kyphosis)

Instructions:

  • Lie down on your stomach with your hands stretch out in front of you. (see above)
  • Lift up your chest so that it is slightly off the ground.
    • Keep your upper abdominal region flat on the ground.
    • “Peel your chest off the ground”
  • Do not over arch your lower back.
    • You should not feel a significant muscular contraction in the lower back region.
    • Aim to feel the contraction in the middle to upper spine.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Note: If this exercise is too difficult, keep your hands in contact with the floor to help you lift the weight of your torso.

6.  Addressing other areas

Hunchback Posture is commonly associated with the other postural issues such as:


a) Forward Head Posture

A Forward Head Posture is where the position of the head is in front of the mid line of the torso.

forward head posture

Generally speaking – the body will follow where the head goes.

If the head is forward, it is likely that torso will hunch forwards as well.

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue:

See post: Forward Head Posture


b) Rounded Shoulders

Having Rounded Shoulders is when the resting shoulder position is in front of the mid line of the torso.

rounded shoulders

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue:

See post: Rounded Shoulders


c) Sway Back Posture

sway back posture

The Sway Back Posture is where the pelvis is pushed in front of the line of the ankle.

As a result – the torso will “sway back” in the attempt to compensate for the forward shift of the pelvis.

To maintain balance, the torso hunches forwards.

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue:

See post: Sway Back Posture


d) Anterior Pelvic Tilt

The Anterior Pelvic Tilt is where the pelvis is in a forward rotated position.

anterior pelvic tilt

The position of the torso is strongly influenced by the position of the pelvis.

See post: Anterior Pelvic Tilt


e) Shoulder Impingement

A hunched posture can also lead to shoulder issues such as Rotator cuff tears, Impingement and Bursitis.

For a detailed guide on how to address this issue:

See post: Shoulder Impingement Exercises


7.  The most important thing to do…

Practice your good posture.

… especially when you are sitting down.

(…as much you as can!)

You can’t do these exercises, go slouch on your computer for 10 hours straight… and then expect that your Hunchback Posture will magically be fixed.

Be aware of your posture. Take frequent breaks. Do some exercises.

Remember this:

How you decide to position your body throughout the day will determine what your default posture will be.


Common Questions

a) Can you fix this type of bad posture?

Yes!

(As long as the joints in your spine have not fused into the slouched position.)

Be consistent with your exercises. Give it time.

You will see improvements!

b) How to sleep with Hunchback Posture?

how to sleep with Hunchback Posture

I would strongly encourage you to get used to sleeping on your back.

This will use gravity to help stretch your back into a more neutral position.

Additionally – Make sure that you are not using too many pillows as this will curve your upper back forwards.

c) How long does it take to get rid of Hunchback Posture?

You should see some observable improvements in appearance of your posture after persisting with the suggested exercises for at least 3 months.

In terms of completely reversing this issue, that is very difficult to answer as everyone will vary.


Conclusion:

Hunchback Posture is the slouching of the upper back region.

It is also referred to as Thoracic Hyperkyphosis.

It can be addressed with the simple exercises as mentioned in this blog post.

You will need to do Releases, Stretches, Joint Mobilizations and Strengthening Exercises.

If your upper back posture is not improving after persisting with these exercises, it is likely that you will also need to address other aspects of your posture that might be contributing to your overall posture.

Remember to be more aware of your posture throughout the day.


What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!

3. Start doing the exercises!


The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical disclaimer.

155 thoughts on “How To Fix Hunchback Posture”

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the detailed guide! I’ve also read through your guide about flared ribs and i’m so confused about my own condition. I’m 18 and I started improving my posture (without any stretches) three years ago, you know, the “chest up” rule. But since then i realised I had pectus excavatum AND flared ribs. So i started with the flared ribs stretches first but realised I can’t really put my ribs down, even with abs contraction. The only way to REALLY put it down, is by going back to the hunched position as I used to be.So the problem comes, is it becuz my upper back is stiff so by lifting up my chest, it extends my lower back instead.(Thoracic hyperkyphosis). Waiting for your answer Mark!

    Reply
    • Hey Bryan,

      Sounds like you have solved your question!

      If the only way to get your ribs in a more neutral position is to hunch your upper back, it means your spine is too stiff.

      If this is the case – you will need to focus on loosening up this stiff spine.

      You can use the exercises mentioned on this post and also this post here: Thoracic Spine Stretches.

      Mark

      Reply
  2. Hello Mark, I’m coming back to these exercises after a bit of a break … Wasn’t there a stretch or strengthening exercise in which you stretch back with your head off the edge of a table or stair? I can’t seem to find it again. Cheers, Sarah

    Reply
  3. I’ve been to multiple orthopedists over the last 3 years and have baffled two of them, and the 3rd was an out of network shoulder specialist I could not continue to afford to see. I have left the first two orthos baffled and the 2 physical therapists i’ve seen confused. If there is a way to do a personal assessment of my issues I’d be happy to pay for your time and knowledge. I used to bodybuild and my issues have kept me out of the gym and I have lost 45 lbs of muscle mass. Thanks for your time and these articles have been incredible.

    Reply
  4. Hi, most of my slouching / hunch back is caused by lack of strength in my back/core. Should I be adding exercises to strengthen the core?

    Reply
  5. Hi Mark, thanks a lot for this excellent resource!

    I’ve a question about the abdominal stretch: the instruction says, “Keep your belly button in contact with the floor”. If I try to reproduce the photo, I can get a good stretch, but my belly button is nowhere near the floor! Any way I change my posture to try to match the instruction, I can’t get a good stretch. Am I misunderstanding?

    Reply
  6. I have back pain in my mid back (around the bottom of my ribs) but only on my left side which is aggravated by sitting down. I have had scans and tests to rule out any spinal problems and have been told that it is caused by muscle spasm and postural imbalances.

    I notice some discomfort doing the side bend lat stretch shown in this article on my left side. It just so happens that I also have limited rotation range of motion to that side as well in my thoracic spine. Do you have any recommendations to help relieve this?

    Reply
  7. Hello. Thank you for the very detailed guide. I have Scheuermann’s Disease with a curve in the upper back (not that bad actually). How much improvement is possible by doing the exercises above?

    Reply
    • Hey Brian,

      As Scheuermann’s is classified as a structural issue, there might be a limitation on how far these exercise will reverse the curve.

      However- They can certainly help reduce or stop the curve from getting worse!

      Mark

      Reply
  8. I am 50 years old and I have had bad posture for years, I have developed a hunch. When I do the wall exercises (the ones where you try to stand with your back flat against the wall), it hurts in my middle back, where the hunch is. Is that normal? I also can’t get my head back on the wall. Hopefully it is not to late for me.

    Reply
    • Hi GC,

      If it hurts directly in the middle, this may suggest your joints are compressing against each other.

      If this is the case – I would actually recommend focusing decompressing the upper back with the posterior line stretch (as seen on the blog post as “Stretch into Flexion”). This will eventually help make the wall exercise easier.

      Mark

      Reply
  9. hii I’m 16 and My posture is kinda bad and idk what to do my self esteem goes so much down when I notice and idk what to do :( and I lost a lot of weight but I have man boobs and sometimes I get tired and I just don’t got good posture can u help ?

    Reply
    • Hey Omar,

      Working on your posture can help build confidence!

      If your upper back is quite hunched forwards, the exercises mentioned on this blog post will be a fantastic place to start.

      I would also encourage you to address your rounded shoulders as well.

      Mark

      Reply
  10. Hi Mark,
    Thank you for the article and suggestions.
    I’m 58, but in great shape and workout 4-5 times a week. Is there hope for me at my age?
    Thank you,

    Reply
  11. Hi Mark
    Thanks so much for all the info! I have always had a weak back with bad posture. I’ve also had a long neck. Since I’ve had a child I’ve developed rounded shoulders, hunchback and a dowagers hump. Which of these should I tackle first? Would doing the shoulders one day, then hunchback, and then the dowagers hump and then repeat them all be a good idea? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Reply
    • Hey Carrie,

      You can tackle any postural issue first.

      One of the harder ones to see change in most people is the Hunchback and Dowager’s hump. Perhaps you can focus your attention there first before moving onto another area.

      Mark

      Reply
  12. I loved what you shared, especially you can see that I usually have the posture of the head forward, the exercises helped me a lot and I am going to combine with to improve my results

    Reply
  13. Hi mark
    Can you please elaborate “WALL LEAN”
    Exercises
    You told feel the stretch in mid back
    If I’m just leaning on wall how can i feel the stretch.
    Is this a static pose?
    what does that two arrow signify?
    What do you mean by oscillation ?

    Reply
    • Hi Shubham,

      You want to feel TENSION in the mid back, not a stretch.

      This will indicate you are bending backwards at the point where you feel tension.

      If anything – a stretch will be more so at the front of the chest.

      The arrows signify shoulder blades rolling backwards as you lean your arms into the wall.

      Oscillation means to bounce at this end range position.

      Mark

      Reply
  14. Hi mark,
    I’m been dealing with a sore shoulder for a long time and my lat muscle on that side is really tight but it just won’t release when I stretch it a lot so I’m thinking I need to strengthen muscles around it so it’s not workin so hard can you recommend the right muscles to target strengthening so my lat isn’t so tight and over active
    Thank you ??

    Reply
  15. Hi Mark! Love the blog and this article in particular, you’re very good at explaining biomechanics in a way that translates to someone’s every day life, and the specific exercises are top notch. As a medical student, this topic is rarely discussed in lecture, but like you I feel it is so important!

    The picture where you’re “slouching” while using your phone made me think of the free iOS app that I recently created, called ergo/

    It uses 3D orientation of the device to sense when the user may be slouching, and provides helpful prompts to improve posture. Since it works in the background, it can help with posture whenever the user texts/watches videos/responds to emails/reads your blog etc.!

    Would love to hear what you think of it from your professional perspective? It’s completely free and always will be, I’m hoping it helps people and I’m always looking to improve it!

    Reply
    • That’s the agony those who are building block where people go first whatever they issue face.

      Importance of maintaining healthy posture can only understood when someone lost it or have seen closely struggling someone in his/her life .

      You guys generally write painkillers
      And we people rely on it instead of learning about posture and nutrition!

      Reply
  16. I have kyphosis, scapular winging, forward head, rounded shoulders and anterior pelvic tilt. Which exercises should I do? And is it good to do hold handstands while I have these conditions against a wall?

    Reply
  17. Do you suggest using a back posture corrector during the day to help with reminding to practice good posture? If so any one in particular?

    Reply
    • Hi Brandy,

      You can use a posture corrector in the short term to serve as a reminder to not slouch all the time.

      I personally don’t recommend it though as you run the risk of the muscles becoming weaker.

      Mark

      Reply
  18. I am trying to fix my rounded shoulders but I sleep on my side all hunched. So I feel like im doing the work and then at night sleeping ruining it because I side sleep. I tried sleeping on my back with a “back sleeper” pillow. And with a pillow under my knees. I can only stay that way for about 2 hours then I wake up so stiff and in pain and then I roll on my side.

    Any tips for trying to learn to sleep on your back?

    Thanks, Cindy

    Reply
    • Hi there Cindy,

      Changing your sleeping habits (as with any well any habit really) takes time to over come.

      In the beginning, just aim for 1-2 hours. As the body becomes used to it, start to increase the duration.

      Doing some stretches before you sleep might help as well!

      Mark

      Reply
  19. Good morning sir I’m sandeep from Rajasthan India . My upper back is getting slightly round and lower back going down I have feel weak when I seat in chair . lower back not good is always looking straight when I sit. my scapula is also coming out I feel so depressed please sir what will I do I wanna send my pic to you that’s why u judge my posture I am so confused please help me

    Reply
  20. Hi Mark!

    I have a mild kyphosis caused by Scheuermann’s disease. It’s actually not really noticeable (as I can say from MRI it’s less than 35 degrees) and was found accidentally in my mid twenties. The kyphosis seems to be a cause of rounded shoulders and difficulty to seat straight for a long time. I would love to prevent it from worsening as I age.

    Would it be enough to do exercises in this article? or should I include some other exercises as well?
    I also work out in a gym 3 times a week.

    Thanks a lot for your work!

    Reply
    • Hey Musaab,

      Where ever you are fused, you will not be able to change the shape of the spine in that said area. (Your rods and screws hold you in this position)

      You can focus on the areas above and below!

      Mark

      Reply
      • How would I tell which area the rod is in? I don’t have the x ray of my post op anymore. Thank you for responding

      • Thank you once again and I have one last question. Would my spinal fusion stop me from fixing uneven hips as well?

      • Thank you once again and I have one last question. Would my spinal fusion stop me from fixing uneven hips and uneven shoulders as well?

  21. I have a kyphosis in front of the head, shoulder in front, I have been doing exercises for a long time, osteopat psoas said short, also said short in hamstring, my hip is shifted forward, my hip muscles are weak, my head is confused when two muscles are tight, anterior palvic tilt or posterior palvic tilt? I did core exercise for 3 months, my hip muscles worked without stretching my pilates, now my posture is better, but there is an incredible spasm and pain between L1 and L2 for 3 weeks, I JUST REMOVE SPASM WITH I PUSHED ON THE UPPER ABDOMINAL REGION, or posterior anterior pelvic tilt? I’m going to the osteopata, I’m waiting for an appointment, it’s locked, my toroko lumbal area, what can I do? thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Nurten,

      If your hips are shifted forwards, it is more common to have a POSTERIOR pelvic tilt.

      This is referred to as having a sway back posture.

      In this type of posture, the hip flexors are generally quite elongated, and then hamstrings are in a shortened position.

      Mark

      Reply
  22. Hi Mark! Found your content today and did all the exercises re: round shoulder, forward head, etc. Awesome!! All in-line, if not better, than my physiotherapist’s recommendations lol. Thanks man! Btw, the link for ‘How to fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt’ is broken it’s missing the colon in ‘http://…’ :)

    Reply
    • Hey Richard,

      Glad that you like the exercise recommendations!

      Also – many thanks for picking up that broken link. I’ve changed it straight away.

      Mark

      Reply
  23. Hi Mark thanks for your very helpful posts. I have a hunchback posture rounded shoulders + forward neck combined with an anterior pelvic tilt. I am currently using your programs to try to fix these issues. I am a skinny guy, I was wondering what’s your opinion on ligting weights and going to the gym while having these postural problems. Should I focus on fixing my posture only, or I can do some lifting too (to build size and strength) at the same time. If so what exercices do you think I should emphasize on or avoid.

    Thanks a lot !

    Reply
    • Hey Taha,

      You can definitely still gym whilst working on your posture.

      Any exercise where you are cuing better posture, is still going to be a good posture exercise.

      You just want to be careful as you can also encourage less than optimal posture when doing any gym exercises.

      Eg. Bench pressing is great for posture! (even though it is predominantly working on chest muscles) If you can maintain the shoulders back position, and let the bar drop as low as possible to give you a good chest stretch, this will HELP your posture.

      The ones you want to avoid are the exercises that you are not able to correctly control your posture.

      Mark

      Reply
  24. An unrecognised cause of DH/hunchback posture is extraction of teeth in the teenage years. This procedure can also cause hooked nose.

    In my case, extraction of my cramped upper-four dental pair (counting from the front) at age 14, with braces to close the gap, caused a lifelong stooped posture (no hump) which I consciously need to fight against, unlike normal people. It was only a holistic dental surgeon who was kind enough to point out the errors of his mainstream practitioners.

    Only in recent years have North American dentists used jacks to separate and accommodate cramped teeth but in Europe the barbaric extractions still continue.

    So Mark: check your clients’ early dental history too! Remedial exercises may differ in such cases.

    Reply
    • Hey Trevor,

      This is interesting!

      I feel that there is definitely a link between teeth and posture.

      I’ve been recently looking into “Mewing” (tongue posture exercise) and its effect on malocclusion, forward head posture and breathing. So interesting.

      Mark

      Reply
  25. Hi Mark,
    Thanks again for these exercises!
    When I do the last two exercises (superman and chest lift), I try to keep my lower back relaxed but I still feel something in my lower back but it’s not pain. I have other problems (Anterior pelvis tilt, knee valgus, forward head), so is it ok to feel it in the lower back?

    Could it be due to my Anterior Pelvis tilt issue making my lower region tight, so I feel it?

    Reply
    • Hey Jess,

      In the vast majority of people with Hunchback posture, the lower back paraspinal muscles are already over active +/- tight.

      Although it is fine to strengthen this area, this purpose of these particular exercises is to engage predominantly the muscles in the thoracic spine region.

      If you can feel both areas working, you should be fine! (Just try to emphasize the upper back more so)

      Anterior pelvic tilt will definitely play a role here.

      Here are some exercises for that: How to fix an Anterior pelvic tilt.

      Good luck!!

      Mark

      Reply
  26. Hai I have a kyphosis problem for almost 5 years now my age is 20 and I want tu slove this problem urgently can u plz give me hard work out plain tu solve this problem urgently I am waiting

    Reply
    • Hey Haider,

      All of the exercises mentioned in the blog post will be the best place to start.

      On top of that, you will need to be more aware of your posture as you sit down.

      Mark

      Reply
  27. Hey Mark,

    I’ve been sticking with doing stretches for several weeks now. I’m having some issue trying to figure out the ‘superman’ technique. I can’t seem to get my body to not engage my lower back. Is there an alternate exercise I can begin with to help isolate the muscle group and get a feel for how to use it?

    Thanks so much for what you do. It’s great to have information out there to help those of us who are motivated to improve but can’t afford regular visits for physical therapy or other treatments.

    ~Dave

    Reply
    • Hey Dave!

      If your lower back in engaging too much, try keeping your chest flat on the ground.

      Focus on lifting the arms off the ground only.

      Keep your head relaxed with forehead resting on the floor.

      (Keep in mind – you will still feel your lower back muscles engage, but make sure they aren’t the main muscles working in this particular exercise).

      Mark

      Reply
      • Hi Mark,
        Fantastic work well done! Are the posture correcting braces worth trying as well as following the exercises you provided? If so, could you give us some ideas for selecting one?
        Thanks
        Oz

  28. I have Scheuermann’s and I play tennis. Some of the tennis exercises I do require a bent over arched back. The best I can do is keep a straight back. If I do these exercises can I get somewhat of a better arch or do I have to do more or is it even possible?

    Reply
    • Hi there Samit,

      With Scheuermann’s disease, there is likely going to be a limit on how far you can extend your thoracic spine. (Due to structural reasons)

      I would still encourage you to continue with the exercises on the blog post to make sure you reclaim as much movement available.

      Better thoracic function might help with your arching.

      Mark

      Reply
  29. Hi,
    I am 38 years old with heavy hunc-back posture . Almost 3-4 inches i am shorter than when i stand straight. Do you have a intense workout programme ? Thank you

    Reply
    • Hey Bora,

      It would best to start with the exercises as mentioned on the blog post.

      From here- then you can venture out to do the more advanced exercises.

      Mark

      Reply
  30. Hi Mark! I do workouts in the gym regularly and I want to know if there is any good exercises using weights to help me with hunchback posture

    Reply
    • Hey Marcos,

      Here are some suggestions
      – Rear delt raises
      – Dead lift (with shoulders back)
      – Bent over Row
      – End range shoulder flexion with cable

      Mark

      Reply
  31. Hi Mark,

    I have visited your sites numerous times now. You, and a few other online physiotherapists, have motivated me to work on my posture once again. Myself, when looking in the mirror and thinking about it, see a giant kyphoses / hunchback. My friends say it isn’t that obvious and a few actually said they haven’t noticed till I started talking about it.

    I recently visited my doctor and got an appointment for a specialist. I feared my age (nearing 30) might be a problem, she said its true that my age doesn’t help me but I should be able to see progress.

    I hope your, my therapists and other online excersices help me get some progress at my older age. I would like to thank you for helping and I hope it will help my body (and my body image).

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Reply
    • Hi Mark,

      Great to see that you have decided to work on your posture.

      It’s not going to be easy, but will be well worth it in the long run.

      Good luck! … and hopefully I can keep providing with content that will help you :)

      Mark

      Reply
  32. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your articles and exercises. My main issue is hunchback posture from years of slouching, I assume other issues are present as well.
    I have tried your exercises with some results, but it feels like my vertebrae are “stuck” and I physically can’t get into a better posture, no matter how much I stretch.
    Should I consult a doctor and which type do I search for?
    I can provide a photo if you need it.
    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Hey Corne,

      Keep persisting with the exercises! You might just be very tight and needs more time and consistency to get some improvements.

      On the other hand, the joints may also be fused which means there might be some limitations as to how far the exercises will get you.

      Best person to see would be a physical therapist or any other health professional that is confident with hunch back posture (aka thoracic kyphosis)

      Mark

      Reply
  33. Hi Mark. I have been having difficulty when doing planks and push ups (and honestly majority of my core strengthening exercises). My shoulder baldes feel like they “slide forward” when I do anything that requires me to bend over, causing a hump (I think it’s pretty significant). Ive been to PT and they said I do not have a kyphotic spine, but when I bend over it’s pretty obvious! Could the hunch be caused by rounded shoulders moreso than a curvature of the spine? I’m at a loss for what I can do to maintain my workout but also correct my posture.

    Reply
  34. What exactly does upper abdominals mean in hunch back posture ????

    And can you please clear me the abdominal muscles tight in sway back and flat back posture ??? Please do mention the muscles name as i am getting confused between upper abdominals and lower abdominals

    Reply
    • Hi Mayank,

      Upper abdominals are part of your stomach muscles underneath your ribs.

      This area, especially if you sit in a flexed posture, will generally be quite tight.

      Mark

      Reply
  35. Hi Mark,

    Am patient of Rheumatoid Arthritis with hunch back. Please recommend specify exercises for me to accordingly fix hunch back.

    Regards,

    Reply
    • Hi Shah,

      The exercises in this blog post are the main ones I recommend for hunch back posture.

      With your background of RA, it is fine to perform the exercises, but just be aware of your irritability whilst performing the exercises.

      Mark

      Reply
  36. Hi Mark. I love what you do. What could be causing my hot/flushed red face? Also bad head pressure when bending over/foward?
    Thankyou

    Reply
    • Hey Elijah,

      The first thing that pops into my mind is blood pressure. But this tends to fall outside my specialty so I can’t give a specific answer unfortunately.

      It might be an idea to get your blood pressure measured at the doctors?

      Good luck! And I hope you find out a solution.

      Added: Sometimes if you have a Forward head posture, this could result into symptoms such as a feeling of a heavy head.

      Mark

      Reply
  37. Hey Mark!

    I’ve recently seen a chiropractor about my bad posture and various problems have popped up (from ankle / calf flexibility, non existent glute muscles, tight hips, tight back, shoulders all the way up to the neck… the lot essentially).

    I’m wondering however, how many times should I stretch per week? Per day even?

    I’m confused about the “volume per week for each issue” as everywhere gives conflicting responses.

    Would it be best to do a different issue each day? e.g: Mon-Lower body, Tue-Upper body. Or to do a mixture of everything each day. (or to target a specific issue each day, such as APT, rounded shoulders, etc)

    Side note, I go to the gym 4 days a week for strength training (Upper body on Mon & Thu, lower body on Tue & Fri), will this conflict or limit my stretching?

    Cheers!

    Ben

    Reply
  38. If a person (me) has all of the above due to EDS (ehlers danlos syndrome), and doesn’t have the time to hit every single issue twice a week, but instead can work on one major area at a time, which do you recommend targeting first? I work at a computer all day also. I am active, and I am not over weight. My posture has improved. But I still have a flaring left rib, rounded back and shoulders, protruding forward neck (I get paid behind my left ear which is caused by this, and it is my indicator to fix my posture, and then the pain goes away), my hips are some what aligned but I do have stomach issues which causes my stomach to extend forward. So I just don’t know which to Target first. ?

    Reply
    • Hi there Jackie,

      It doesn’t really matter which area to focus on at the start. Optimising any one part of the body will help with the body as a whole.

      In terms of what will give you the most bang for your buck, it is all a matter of trial and error.

      All the best!

      Mark

      Reply
    • Hey Adam,

      This is really a hard question to answer! It really depends.

      But… in regards to the thoracic spine, I find it very tight in a majority of people.

      It’s going to take time and consistency. Keep motivated :)

      Mark

      Reply
  39. I have one side with of my neck with really tight scalene muscles. I have started implementing posture exercises for my very poor posture but how to I correct this issue?

    Reply
    • Hi Joelle,

      If one side of your neck has tight scalenes, you probably have a rotated and/or tilted neck.\

      On top of stretches, you will need to address why you have a tilt/rotation.

      A common cause (but not the only one) is scoliosis.

      I have a blog post coming out on this soon! Stay tuned :)

      Mark

      Reply
  40. Hello,

    I have dowagers hump and forward head from working at a desk job for years and I am looking to correct it. Will a posture corrector help? If so, which one would you recommend? I am a student, so something cost efficient would be great. Thank you, :)

    Reply
  41. I’m 21 yrs old and have a poor posture from many years. Now even if I try to sit straight, my back starts to pain. When I still continue the straight posture, my backbone feels like it’s going to break, because there is such terrible pain. So eventually I give up and come back sitting with my previous poor posture. What should I do? Does it actually pain this much? And is it okay for me to continue the straight posture even if the pain is terrible?

    Reply
    • Hi Suzy,

      Sounds like you are forcing the posture. This will result in more stiffness and possibly pain.

      You may need to work on releasing the tight structures to allow your good posture to become more natural for you.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Hi Mark!,
        I’m 14 and have noticed a ball like thing on my back this month, my mom always told me to sit straight and maintain a good posture but I usually didnh believe her, but i would catch my self slouching in class and would fix my posture. But sitting in a chair most of the day just makes my back tired and this situation a lot worse :(. I use to dance most of my short life but having a good posture literally 24/7 would make me tired so I think that’s what caused me to slouch most of the time. MY BIG QUESTION IS, Can this be fixed by doing these exercises?!! Will it get rid of the ball in my neck?!!I don’t want this to worsen and definitely not give me pain, right now I don’t feel any pain. Also are back supporters good to use to help fix my posture while in school? And I’m hoping that’s good. Anyways sorry for the long paragraph. :/ -Amber

      • Hey Amber,

        Yes – you can correct postural issues with exercises.

        I am not a huge fan of postural braces in the long term, however, they can help serve as a reminder to maintain good posture in the short term.

        Mark

  42. Thank you so much for these tips! Would you also see an exaggerated lumbar lordosis with this posture? I have a pretty bad hunchback, with a good amount of lumbar lordosis. However, I don’t think I have an anteriorly rotated pelvis (so that rules out a swayback posture I believe). Is this the right article for me? Feel free to let me know. I’ve had TERRIBLE posture since I was in my teens, now I am almost 30 and can’t take it anymore. Having upper back pain. Trying to fix it before it gets worse!

    Reply
    • Hey Michelle,

      If you have a hunchback, then it is very likely you will have a hyperlordosis in the lower back.

      These exercises will be a great starting point for you.

      Mark

      Reply
  43. Iam 33years female, i had (a right sided curve) scoliosis fixation opoeration 14 years ago, then i had another operation for removal of the broken metal rods and all screws ayear ago, since then iam having increasing pain and increasing scoliosis and hyperkyphosis too, i had physiotherapy and pain therapy for months with no effects ……

    Reply
  44. hey Mark
    Is it true that it is difficult to fix hunchback after age 20 because the spine stops growing ?
    i’m 20 now and I’m afraid I can not fix my posture with exercises

    Reply
  45. Hi Mark, fantastic blog!

    Got a weird question for you. I solved (I think) my anterior pelvic tilt (and flat feet) with a physiotherapist a few years ago, but now I was told I have rounded shoulders and stiff neck muscles contributing to hunchback. One thing I notice is my lower ribs still flare out and I’m wondering if that’s somehow connected. Why do lower ribs flare and are there specific muscles or exercises I should focus more on to fix this? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey there Cara,

      WHAT A COINCIDENCE!

      I am actually working on a post “How to fix your Rib flare” right now.

      It should be up by next week or so.

      Follow me on Facebook to make sure you get the notification.

      Mark

      Reply
  46. hello and Thanks for the great tips sir .
    At the end of the article you state that we shouldnt sit on the computer for 10 hours after these excercises but what if my job demands it . You see, I work a desk job for 9 hours a day but i try to stand as much as i can every 45 minutes at least . And i have also started working out at the gym and i try to excercise my back arches with some weights .I think I have had a hunchback for at least 7-8 years but I wasn’t able to go the doctor for reasons I cannot explain now and my back since i got this job(around 8 months) started to hurt . Do you have any tips ? And thank you very much for the article.

    Reply
  47. Hello Mark,
    I’m 27 years male, recently in a X-RAY test i found out the cause of lower back ache which was since last 7 months. The report says there is a loss of LUMBAR LORDOSIS. I request you to kindly guide me for the correct posture which i should follow regularly including sleeping postures if any. As i’m working guy who has on table job for 8-9 hours sitting in my office and working on PC/Laptop. This is only issue in body which i want to cure as soon as possible also i don’t prefer medication for all these.
    So please suggest some posture or any eBook with the same.

    Thank You.

    Reply
  48. Hi mark, as of yet my back doesn’t allow me to be able to do the superman, is this a bad problem or is there an alternative exercise that I can do until I am able to do the superman?

    Reply
    • Hi Danny,

      You can just do the CHEST LIFT exercise with your chest supported on a stool.

      If you are too curved in the upper back (kyphotic), you will have to work on getting it less hunched so that eventually you should be able to do the superman flat on the floor.

      Mark

      Reply
  49. If someone has multiple posture issues, in my case for example: hunchback and anterior pelvic tilt. should I first care about only one or should I do the excersises for both issues.

    Reply
    • Hey Mike,

      Great question.

      Many of these postural issues are inter-linked. Meaning – a change in one area will likely change another area.

      In terms of what to focus – I would do all exercises if you have the time.

      If you are short for time, focus on the area that will give you the most benefit once corrected. For eg. I find that many people who correct their hunch back posture, will see some improvement in their anterior pelvic tilt.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Mark

      Reply
  50. Dear Mark,

    I have had poor posture for several years. However, now even when I sit upright I am not able to straighten my spine completely. There is a small curve. Is this what is considered structural kyphosis? If so, do you think exercises and constantly sitting and standing in excellent posture can greatly diminish the curve degree over time? Or is there no hope – only surgery?

    Reply
    • Hi Vanessa,

      These exercises should help reduce the size of your kyphosis over time.

      But it really depends on how long you’ve had it, how significant the kyphosis is, past history, hereditary factors etc.

      It has probably taken some time for it to develop, so it will take some patience and consistency to address it.

      Mark

      Reply
  51. Hi Mark,
    I have a Hunchback posture,Forward head posture,
    Rounded shoulders and Anterior pelvic tilt problem.
    So could you please give me an advise for all of problem.
    I’d read your articles, but I have 4 bed posture !
    So I’m not sure which exercises will match with all 4 posture by the way thanks for reply Mark.

    Reply
  52. Hi Mark,
    Hunchback posture,Forward head posture,
    Rounded shoulders and Anterior pelvic tilt, I think
    I’ve got those problem right now, Is it possible ?
    what should I do now ? I have read your articles but if I do all exercise it a lot of time to do, can you give me an advise thanks.

    Reply
    • Hey Patt,

      Looks like you have a cluster of postural problems! (don’t worry, it is actually common)

      There are quite a lot of exercises to do. And when you have more than one more problem, they certainly do add up.

      Try addressing the area first that gives you the most pain.

      After that, I would address either your thoracic spine or pelvic region.

      Mark

      Reply
  53. Hi, when I put myself in an upright posture the left and right sides of mid back have these small curved humps that show. Does that mean I have structural kyphosis? Also I have started doing these exercises and a few more every day 3 times a day. If I keep up with this how long will it take for the humps to go away. Of course, everyone is different but on average. You insight is highly appreciated!

    Reply
    • Hi Sara,

      When you say that you have small curved humps, do you mean the muscles that lie either side of your spine are more prominent?

      If so – this is very common with the kyphotic posture. It’s your back muscles trying very hard to hold your upper torso more upright.

      When dealing with this kind of posture, it can take over a couple of months.

      However – there should be some quick small improvements if you do the exercises on the daily.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, on either side of my spine, very close to it are two small humps. However, my shoulder area including blades protrude out (from both sides with a narrow straight center) and I feel like something keeps them from being in. Is it possible that muscle from under keep it out or is it more likely that my ribcage is curved inward? I realize what you say is limited by what I tell you and I am going to go to a doctor to see in person but your thoughts in the meantime mean a lot!

  54. My work involves mostly being at a computer and developing hunchback. Can you recommend a chair or help for sitting to keep better posture?

    Reply
  55. Hi Mark,

    I’m just getting started and know that I won’t keep up with this many exercises. If I were to build up to doing more, are there just a couple that I could start with doing consistently?

    Reply
    • Hey Nate,

      Hunchback posture refers to the spine being in flexion (thoracic kyphosis).

      But – you are definitely correct. The hunchback posture will also have rounded shoulders as part of it.

      However – Rounded shoulders can also occur without a flexed upper spine.

      Hope this clears things up for you.

      Mark

      Reply
    • Sway back posture can involve a Hunch back posture. I guess you can say it’s the bigger picture.

      Where as hunch back posture just refers to the thoracic being flexed forward.

      Mark

      Reply
  56. Hi Mark, thanks for the exercise tips! What is your opinion on the posture corrector or shoulder brace in the market? They claim to fix the body posture just by wearing them.

    Reply
    • Hi Dillon,

      They serve as a great reminder to maintain good posture, however, if you wear them excessively, your actual postural muscles will become lazy. (… And more often than not, the posture becomes worse when you take them off!)

      Mark

      Reply

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