How To Fix Uneven Shoulders

Uneven Shoulders is the asymmetrical posture where one shoulder is higher (or lower) as compared to the other side.

uneven shoulders

The shoulder girdle can be elevated or depressed on the rib cage.

This blog post offers effective exercises to help level out uneven shoulders.

Table Of Contents

Causes

The postures and activities you subject your body to throughout the day has a strong influence on the overall position of your shoulders.

Think about it:

causes for uneven shoulders
  • Do you lift/carry things on one side?
  • Do you lean towards one side whilst on the computer?
  • Are you involved with a sport/occupation/play an instrument that requires predominantly using one hand only?
  • Do you wear your bag over one shoulder?
  • Do you always side sleep on the same side?

Over time – if you habitually adopt the asymmetrical position of your shoulders, having uneven shoulders will become apart of your default posture.

Note: There are also neurological causes that may also lead to this issue. (Not covered in this blog post)

Does it really matter that you have a shoulder imbalance?

Having shoulders that are not level does not necessarily mean that you will have symptoms.

However, in my opinion, there will always be one side that is loaded more than the other when you have uneven shoulders.

This may lead to imbalances in:

  • Muscle size
  • Strength
  • Muscular tension
  • Movement

Did you know… it is common to have a lower shoulder on your side of dominance?

How To tell if you have Uneven shoulders

Here are some simple ways to help you determine if you have uneven shoulders.

1. Uneven Collarbones

uneven shoulders test

Instructions:

  • Stand relaxed in front of a mirror.
  • Locate the line of your collar bones.
  • Compare the height.

2. Uneven Upper Trapezius

how to test for uneven shoulders

Instructions:

  • Stand relaxed in front of a mirror.
  • Locate the border of the Upper Trapezius muscle on either side.
  • Compare the height.

(Note: Increased muscle bulk on one side may give a false illusion of a higher shoulder.)

3. Uneven shoulder blades

one shoulder higher

Instructions:

  • Take a photo of your back.
  • Locate the outline of the scapula.
  • Compare the overall height of the scapula.

4. How do your clothes fit?

Does your shirt or bra strap tend to always fall down towards one side?

The shirt/strap will tend to drop towards the side of the lower shoulder.

muscles involved

(It is important to know the location of the following muscles when performing exercises for your uneven shoulders. Use Google if you are not sure.)

Elevated Shoulder

a) Tight and/or Overactive Muscles

(The following muscles pull the shoulder girdle UPWARDS.)

b) Weak and/or Inhibited Muscles

(The following muscles are not pulling the shoulder girdle DOWNWARDS.)

  • Lower Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Lower Serratus Anterior
  • Pec Minor/Major
  • Subclavius

Depressed Shoulder

a) Tight and/or Overactive Muscles

(The following muscles pull the shoulder girdle DOWNWARDS.)

  • Lower Trapezius
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Lower Serratus Anterior
  • Pec Minor/Major
  • Subclavius

b) Weak and/or Inhibited Muscles

(The following muscles are not pulling the shoulder girdle UPWARDS.)

  • Upper Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae

Exercises to fix Uneven shoulders

STEP 1: Address Spinal Alignment
STEP 2: Determine Your Shoulder Blade Position

STEP 3: Scapula Control
STEP 4: Exercises For A HIGH Shoulder
STEP 5: Exercises For A LOW Shoulder
STEP 6: Neutral Shoulder
STEP 7: Postural Habits
STEP 8: Other Causes Of Uneven Shoulder

STEP 9: One Shoulder More Forwards

1. Address Spinal Alignment

Before addressing the shoulders, you may need to address the spine first!

The position of the shoulders is strongly influenced by the position of the spine.

a) Scoliosis

scoliosis

If the spine is bent towards one side, this can automatically lead to one shoulder being positioned higher relative to the other side.

By addressing the misalignment of the spine, you may find that this naturally levels out the height of both shoulders.

For a full guide on how to address the alignment of your spine:

See Post: Scoliosis Exercises

b) Lateral Pelvic Tilt

lateral pelvic tilt

If you have one hip that is higher than the other, this can influence the position of the spine (and thus the position of the shoulders).

This imbalance in the pelvis can be reflected in the uneven positioning of the shoulders.

For a full guide on how to address the alignment of your pelvis:

See Post: How To Fix Lateral Pelvic Tilt

2. Determine your shoulder blade position

a) High/Low Shoulder

By now – you should have a good idea of which is the higher/lower shoulder.

(If not, please feel to go back to the Tests For Uneven Shoulders section.)

This usually improves by addressing the asymmetric position of the spine. (see above)

b) Elevated/Depressed Shoulder

The next thing you need to determine is whether your shoulders are in an ELEVATED or DEPRESSED position relative to the rib cage.

This will dictate WHICH exercises you should be performing to bring the shoulders back to a more neutral position.

It is important to understand how your shoulder has deviated from the neutral position.

Ideal shoulder Blade position

In order to determine the position of the shoulder blade relative to the rib cage, we first need to understand what the ideal shoulder blade position is.

(Note: There is a degree of variability of this “ideal” position and will certainly differ in different people. Use the following as a rough guide line!)

a) Back View

Rough guideline

  • Top of Scapula:
    • T2
  • Spine of the Scapula:
    • T4
  • Bottom of Scapula (Inferior angle):
    • T7-9
  • Ideal resting position of the scapula:
    • Sits flat on the rib cage
    • Slightly angled outwards
  • The position of the scapula on the left and right side should generally be even.
Interpretation:
  • If your scapula sits higher than this position, then you have an ELEVATED shoulder.
  • If your scapula sits lower than this position, you have a DEPRESSED shoulder.

b) Front View

uneven shoulders

The angle of the collar bone (clavicle) should have a slight upward angle. (see above)

Interpretation:
  • If the clavicle is significantly upward slanted, then you have an ELEVATED shoulder.
  • If the clavicle angle is flat or sloping downwards, then you have a DEPRESSED shoulder.

Note: Having Thoracic Kyphosis (Hunched Upper Back) may affect these results!


READ THIS

(Please make sure that you understand the following point before proceeding to the exercises to address your uneven shoulders.)

Your higher shoulder does NOT necessarily mean that you have an ELEVATED shoulder.

For example – It is possible to have both shoulders that are DEPRESSED, but one side may be relatively higher.

In this case – you would do the same exercises (for a depressed shoulder) for both sides, but may need to focus more attention on the side that is lower.

3. Control your scapula

The position of your shoulder blade will determine the position of your shoulder as a whole.

This is the reason why it is so important to have full control of the movement of your scapula.

(The following warm up exercise will help you with the rest of the exercises mentioned in the blog post.)

a) Scapula Rotations

shoulder blade control

Instructions:

  • Shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Squeeze the shoulders blades up and back.
  • Retract the shoulders back.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blade back and down.
  • Relax.
  • Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Repeat the exercise going the opposite direction.

The goal with this exercise is to produce and control as much movement in your shoulder blade as possible.

4. Exercises for Elevated Shoulder

Note: You may or may not need to do exercises for both of your shoulders.

Address the side(s) where the shoulder has moved away from the neutral position.

1. Releases

a) Upper Trapezius/Levator Scapulae

Releases will help reduce the over-activity of the main muscles that elevate the shoulder.

Upper Trapezius release

Instructions:

  • Locate the target muscles:
    • Upper Trapezius
    • Levator Scapulae
  • Stand in front of the corner of a wall.
  • Lean forwards.
  • Place a massage ball between the region between the top of your shoulders and the wall. (see above)
  • Apply an appropriate amount of pressure into the massage ball.
  • Make sure to cover the entire muscle.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

2. Stretches

Stretches will reduce the over-activity and tightness of the muscles that pull the shoulder upwards.

a) Upper Trapezius

upper trapezius stretch

Instructions:

  • Pull your elevated shoulder downwards.
    • You can hold onto something to help anchor your shoulder down.
  • Tilt your head away from the side that has the elevated shoulder.
  • Using your hand, pull your head further into the tilt.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the region between the head and shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

b) Levator Scapulae

levator scapulae stretch

Instructions:

  • Pull your elevated shoulder downwards.
  • Look towards the armpit that is on the opposite side.
  • Place your hand on the back of your head and apply a downward pressure towards the armpit direction.
  • Aim to feel a stretch between the top of the scapula and your head.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • For more stretches: Levator Scapulae Stretches.

4. Strengthening exercises

With an elevated shoulder, it is important to strengthen the muscles that pull the shoulder downwards (Scapular Depression) into a more neutral position.

How To Perform Scapular Depression

scapular depression
  • Pull the shoulder blade DOWNWARDS.
    • “Pull your shoulder blade into your back pocket”
  • Aim to FEEL the muscles contract at the base of the scapula.
  • This motion will be used in all of the following exercises.

a) End Range Flexion

scapular depression exercises

Instructions:

  • Place the hand on the side of the elevated shoulder high up on a wall in front of you.
  • Lean firmly into this hand.
  • Perform Scapular Depression:
    • “Pull your shoulder downwards.”
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Aim to feel the muscular contraction around the lower region of your shoulder blade.
  • Perform 5 repetitions.

b) Scapula Push Ups

scapular depression

Instructions:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs out stretched.
  • Place the hand that is on the side of the elevated shoulder onto a yoga block.
  • Lock your arms straight.
  • Lean your body weight into your hands.
    • Your shoulder should naturally hitch upwards as you do this.
  • Perform Scapular Depression:
    • Pull your shoulders down as you lean more weight onto the hand.
    • “Create distance between your ear and shoulder.”
  • Aim to feel the muscular contraction around the lower region of your shoulder blade.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Perform 5 repetitions.
  • Note: If you find this difficult, you can perform the same exercise whilst sitting on a chair with your feet on the ground. (= less weight on your hands)

c) Prone Arm Lift

prone arm lift

Instructions

  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Reach your hands out in front of you.
  • Lift the arm on side of the elevated shoulder.
  • Perform Scapular Depression as you lift your arm:
    • “Pull your shoulder blade down”
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds.
  • Perform 5 repetitions.

4. Taping

Taping your elevated shoulder in a downwards direction will help keep the shoulder in a better position.

taping for high shoulder

Instructions:

  • Gently pull your elevated shoulder down into a neutral position.
    • (Scapular Depression)
  • Place the tape starting from above collar bone and pull back and down to the middle of your thoracic spine.  (as above)
  • Make sure you place firm downward pressure when applying the tape.
  • Depending on your skin irritability, you can leave the tape on for up to ~2 days.

5. Exercises for A Depressed shoulder

Note: You may or may not need to do exercises for both of your shoulders.

Address the side(s) where the shoulder has moved away from the neutral position.

a) Releases

Releases will reduce the over-activity of the muscles that pull the shoulder downwards.

a) Side Of Rib Cage

(Target Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi/Serratus Anterior)

latissimus dorsi release with foam roller

Instructions

  • Lie down on the side with the depressed shoulder.
  • Place a foam roller underneath the side of the rib cage.
  • Apply an appropriate amount of body weight on top of the foam roller.
  • Roll your body up/down over the foam roller.
  • Make sure you cover length of the muscle.
  • Duration: 1-2 minutes.

b) Chest

(Target muscles: Subclavius, Pectoralis Major/Minor, Anterior Deltoid)

chest release

Instructions:

  • Lie facing downwards on the floor.
  • Place a massage ball underneath the chest region.
  • Apply an appropriate amount of your body weight on top of the massage ball.
  • Perform a circular motion over the massage ball.
  • Make sure to cover the entire chest region.
  • Continue for 2 minutes.

c) Inter-Scapular

interscapular release

Instructions:

  • Locate the region between your shoulder blade and spine.
  • Whilst lying down on the floor, place this area on top of a massage ball.
  • Apply an appropriate amount of your body weight on top of the ball.
  • Cover the entire region.
  • Continue for 1-2 minutes.

2. Stretches

Stretches will reduce the tightness of the muscles that pull the shoulder downwards.

a) Latissimus Dorsi

lat stretch

Instructions:

  • Assume the position above.
  • Hold onto a door frame with your hand.
  • Whilst anchoring your legs as shown, aim to bend your mid section as much as possible.
    • Use your body weight to sink into the stretch
  • Twist your pelvis away.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your torso.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

b) Chest

chest stretch

Instructions:

  • Place the hand on the side of your depressed shoulder onto a door frame. (see above)
    • Keep your hand up high.
  • Lunge forward.
  • Shrug your shoulder upwards.
  • Do not arch your lower back.
    • Keep the lower rib cage down.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the chest region.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

c) Lower Trapezius

lower trapezius stretch

Instructions:

  • Sit down on a chair.
  • Slouch your upper back as much as you can.
    • Focus at bending your spine at the level of the lower shoulder blade.
  • Shrug the shoulder upwards on the side of the depressed shoulder.
  • Try to take a deep breath into the middle of your back.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the region around the lower shoulder blade.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

d) Serratus Anterior

Serratus anterior stretch

Instructions:

  • Assume the position as above with the depressed shoulder towards the floor.
  • Lean your upper body weight onto your forearm.
    • Your shoulder should naturally hitch upwards.
  • Whilst keeping your waist pinned down to the ground, push your torso up right.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your rib cage.
  • Take a deep breath into the area where you feel the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • For more stretches: Serratus Anterior Stretches

3. Strengthening Exercises

Strengthen the muscles that elevate the shoulder towards a more neutral position.

How To Perform Scapular ELEVATION

scapular elevation
Instructions:
  • “Shrug your shoulders towards your ears.”
  • Aim to feel the contraction in the area between your head and shoulder (Upper Trapezius).

a) Shrugs

shrugs

Instructions:

  • Hold onto a weight onto the side of your depressed shoulder.
  • You can have your arms:
    • By your side or
    • Above your head
  • Keep your elbows straight.
  • Perform Shoulder Elevation.
  • Feel the contraction of the region between the head and shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Perform 3 repetitions.
  • Progression: Hold onto a heavier weight.

b) Shoulder Elevation (4 point kneel)

exercise for low shoulder

Instructions:

  • Assume the 4 point kneel position.
  • Lift and reach out a straightened arm in front of you so that your hand is pushing and holding a ball against the wall. (see above) 
    • Try to be as far away from the wall as possible.
  • Perform Scapula Elevation as you press the ball into the wall.
  • Aim to feel the muscles on the top of the shoulder blade activate.
  • Roll the ball in a circular motion.
  • Keep your neck relaxed.
  • Repeat 30 times.

6. Maintaining neutral shoulder

Now that you have:

  • Released and Stretched out the tight muscles holding you in the uneven shoulder position and,
  • Strengthened the muscles that bring the shoulder into a more neutral position

… the next step (and probably the most important!) is to activate the appropriate muscles (… the ones you targeted with the strengthening exercises) to maintain the correct shoulder position throughout the day.

Quick Tip:

In the early stages of correcting your uneven shoulders, aim to correct your shoulder position to an amount that you are comfortable with.

(You do NOT need to correct it 100% straight away.)

As your body becomes accustomed to this new position, slowly increase the % of correction.

7. Address activities causing Uneven shoulders

If you do all of the mentioned exercises in this blog post, but then spend most of your time in the position/activity that has lead to your uneven shoulders in the first place… it is likely that your progress will be significantly hindered!

You will need to either:

  • Improve your posture in this position/activity,
  • Reduce exposure to this position or
  • Eliminate doing it completely!

8. Other Factor leading to Uneven shoulders

There are many different positions that the shoulder complex can adopt which could give the appearance of uneven shoulders.

a) Winged scapula

winged scapula

A Winged Scapula is when the inner border of the shoulder blade protrudes off the rib cage.

This can lead to the appearance of having Uneven shoulders.

For a full guide on how to address a Winged Scapula:

See Post: Winged Scapula Exercises

9. One Shoulder More Forwards

one shoulder more forwards

The other presentation that relates to having uneven shoulders is having one shoulder that is more forwards as compared to the other side.

How To Test For A Forward Shoulder

test for forward shoulder

Instructions:

  • Get someone to take a photo from an angle that is looking down onto your shoulders. (see above)
  • Observe if you have one shoulder that is more forward as compared to the other side.
  • (Similarly – if your uneven shoulders are quite prominent, you could just look down at your shoulders and compare them this way!)

Muscles Involved

a) Tight and/or Overactive Muscles

  • Pec Major/Minor
  • Subclavius
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Subscapularis
  • Serratus Anterior

b) Weak and/or Inhibited Muscles

  • Rhomboids
  • Lower/Middle Trapezius

Exercises For A Forward Shoulder

I have created a comprehensive blog post covering this issue.

See Post: Exercises For Rounded Shoulders

Perform the suggested exercises on the above blog post on the side that is rounded forwards.

Rotated torso

If your torso is rotated, it can give the appearance of having one shoulder more forward than the other.

Here is a quick test:

test for twisted spine

Instructions:

  • Take a photo from the above head position.
  • Find the line of your pelvis.
  • Fine the line of your torso.

If these 2 lines are not parallel, then you have a rotated torso relative to your pelvis.

(Example: If your upper torso is rotated to the right, your left shoulder will be orientated in a more forward position.)

For exercises to fix a Rotated Torso:

See Post: Rotated Torso


Conclusion

  • Uneven shoulders is the asymmetrical position of the shoulders.
  • It can result in imbalanced loads on the shoulders which may eventually lead to all kinds of issues.
  • Before correcting your uneven shoulders, any tilting of the torso must be addressed.
  • If the shoulders remain uneven after the torso is aligned, then focus on the exercises that are appropriate to your specific presentation.
  • Make sure that you address any activities/positions that are encouraging your uneven shoulders.

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!


Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. It exists for informational purpose only. Use of the content is at your sole risk. Seek guidance from a health care professional before starting any exercise. For more information: Medical Disclaimer.

74 thoughts on “How To Fix Uneven Shoulders”

  1. I have both , On left i have depressed and on right Elevated Shoulder . I am doing these exercise for 3 months now. I feel like they are getting better . But my elevated shoulder feels like it doesnt have space to drop down . What to do?

    Reply
  2. Hi Mark,

    I have a higher left hip and a rotated right pelvis – as well as a higher right shoulder. Does an uneven pelvis cause a higher shoulder and should I be working on fixing the pelvis first?

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Hey John,

      An uneven pelvis can result in uneven shoulders. (and vice versa)

      In terms of what to address first, I would start with the pelvis and see its effect on the shoulders.

      Mark

      Reply
  3. Hello sir, my left shoulder is wider and upper than the right one and rounded and forward but my right shoulder is completely fine. And I have chest pectus, which I am currently working on to fix pectus first, but this uneven shoulder is getting my motivation down every day whenever I look into a mirror. It’s has been like 1 year I never get out of home a lot because of pectus and uneven shoulders since lockdown started. Should I continue working on my pectus with this shoulder exercise? My age is 22 and I am from India. And one more question sir, do you also went through uneven shoulders?

    Reply
  4. Hey Mark
    I have 2 question
    1) I have uneven shoulders is it ok for me to workout in the gym and if it is ok Are there exercises I should avoid?
    Thank you for the great work you do to help us

    Reply
    • Hey Zain,

      It is fine to continue your gym with uneven shoulders. I would recommend that you also include single arm exercises as well.

      In terms of what to avoid, you can do all exercises, however, I suggest that you do not push past fatigue so that you can maintain good even technique.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Hey mark me is shahbaz from pakistan i have uneven shoulder
        So what i should do for this i mean what exercise i must do

  5. Would you have any clue as to why I can’t pronate my arm assuming my arms are straight out parallel to the ground without my trap taking over and raising ? I don’t know if this makes sense if i can try to explain more in depth

    Reply
    • Hey Cristian,

      If I were to guess, I would say you have a tight posterior shoulder +/- lacking shoulder Internal rotation.

      Try stretching out this area to see if it helps. (search: “Posterior shoulder stretch”)

      Mark

      Reply
  6. Could I email you a couple pictures of my shoulder to diagnose what exactly is wrong I’ve went to countless physical therapy sessions and nothing has worked

    Reply
  7. Hi Mark, thanks for the guidance! I actually have been assessed by PT already, know which exercises/stretches I need to do (mirrors what you have outlined here). But after my first follow-up session, they want me to keep coming in twice a week but I couldn’t help but think I should focus on fixing what led to the uneven shoulders in the first place! I still plan to the stretches and what not at home, but do you have any practical tips on how to fix one’s posture? Would you recommend wearing a posture corrector throughout the day, or any other strategies? I am told that office work is probably a contributor, so I also am thinking about buying a sit to stand desk…thoughts? Thank you very much.

    Reply
  8. Great web site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days.
    I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  9. Hello Mark,
    I have a couple of imbalances i want to correct but im not sure what is the main root cause of it. I’ll give all of the details i noticed. I hope you could give some suggestions.
    1). My left shoulder is higher than my right shoulder and my neck is slightly bent towards my left shoulder
    2). My left upper trap is bigger than my right one and it feels tighter
    3). My left lat seems smaller than my right lat when i flex.
    4). My left pec is higher than my right one and it feels tight as well and my left rib sticks out more than my right rib but its not that noticeable until i flex
    5). The right side above my right obliques has a slight hourglass shape while my left side is straight. Its not too visible but its noticeable when im standing still without a shirt.
    By the way, my left shoulder hurts sometimes when i bench, im not sure why

    heheh i know those are lots of imbalances but im pretty sure they are fixable judging from the way i see my body shape. Please suggest what exercise i should perform and what do you think about these imbalances? could it be because of a lateral pelvic tilt? or what else do you think? my hips aren’t too imbalanced. I measured them and the difference seems quite negligible.

    I apologize for the long post but please help me with this. What do you think the root cause is and what exercises shall i do to fix these imbalances?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi RSC,

      If you feel that your hips are quite balanced, the next area I would look at is the spine.

      See post: Scoliosis Exercises.

      Side bends in the spine could explain your presentation. It sounds like your torso is side bending towards the right more, with her head trying to counter tilt.

      Mark

      Reply
  10. Hi Mark, really appreciate all the help and advice you’re providing . Could you please advice me on this issue I have with my uneven pecs , i can’t remember how it started as there was no pain to begin with and no pain at the moment , I play few different sports so a rugby or football tackle could be the reason I am not sure , for quite some time I thought it could be muscle imbalance due to one side being dominant so I decided to give more attention to the weaker side which didn’t change anything . It’s only when i gently pressed both left and right pec I can feel chest cage on the RIGHT pec sticking out more compare to left and also when I bring my arms to side and try open my chest by pushing arms and shoulders back I can see my LEFT shoulder goes further back compare to right . Feels abit tightness right back . Hope I’ve made it understandable for you to advice me on this issue , cheers

    Reply
    • Hey Adam,

      Any chance that you may have a twisted torso? This can result in uneven pecs.

      By the sounds of it, your torso may be rotated towards the left side.

      For more information: Twisted spine.

      Hope you find it helpful.

      Mark

      Reply
  11. Amazing post been looking for this for a long time, in fact, I thought I had an elevated shoulder but instead it was the other one that was depressed instead.

    I have a question though, my right shoulder is depressed and slightly more forward than my left shoulder, however, I’m correcting that after reading your guide. I noticed that the traps in the depressed shoulder are significantly SHORTER (not smaller, shorter) than the ones in the normal shoulder, since it’s depressed shouldn’t they look longer instead?

    The right side of my chest area (where the forward / depressed shoulder is at) also looks “shorter” as a whole, if I cut a line in between my chest my left side would be longer when compared to my right so it’s not just the traps that are shorter, the whole right side feels “short” compared to my left side.

    I’m also right hand dominant I’m not sure if that matters.

    Reply
    • Hi Renato,

      I would check to see if your torso is tilting to the side.

      (See: Scoliosis exercises)

      This could give you a lower right shoulder but tighter upper trapezius.

      If this is the case – you would want to work on the spine first, then address the shoulders second.

      Mark

      Reply
  12. Hi Mark ! My name is Esat. I am writing to you from Turkey. One of my friend is suffering from shoulder/back problems (seems like a Scapula and uneven shoulder thing) And while we were checking the internet for any cure, we’ve found one of your blog writings posted on your website. He is dealing with this problem for about a year and a half but still havent found a solution yet. Is it possible for us to send you a pic/video of his? So you can maybe diagnose?

    Reply
    • Hi Esat,

      It is probably best to see a healthcare professional in person for a diagnosis.

      Unfortunately – I will be unable to individually assess your friend.

      Mark

      Reply
  13. Hey Mark,

    My right hip is slightly elevated and forward while my left shoulder is elevated and forward.

    Should I avoid doing the shoulder exercises completely until I fix my pelvic tilt? Or will it help to work on both hips and shoulder simultaneously?

    Reply
    • Hi Danniel,

      If you have the time – you can do both at the same time.

      It looks like your torso is counter rotating the rotation of the pelvis.

      Mark

      Reply
    • Really appreciate the reply Mark!

      So if my left shoulder is pushed in, elevated, and slightly forward, should I just stick to the exercises listed in the “elevated shoulder”? Or are there other exercises/steps that I should also implement?

      Also do you offer any consultation meetings? I would really love your help to understand my shoulder problem

      Reply
      • Hey Danniel,

        If your pelvis is rotated to the left and the torso is rotated to the right (which could orientate your left shoulder forwards), it sounds like you will need to address the rotations in these areas:

        Rotated pelvis
        Twisted torso

        Unfortunately- I don’t offer any online consultations. It’s quite hard to perform accurate assessment online and I’m not sure if people would be happy to pay for that. (this could change if there is enough demand for it though!)

        Mark

  14. Hi Mark,

    Where are you based? I am interested in a comprehensive review with you to determine my back and shoulder issues. Have been dealing with them for many years

    Reply
    • hi mark.
      my dad has shoulder impinegemnt and has right drop shoulder .the right side has impingemnt and is dropped.
      i want some exc to strenght upper trapizus and levator pleases.

      Reply
  15. Hi Mark,

    Do you have any exercises for a rotated torso please? I think this is what i have. So my left shoulder is elevated and forward and my right hip seems to be going backwards and my right leg never feels in the right position, when standing the right foot is more forward than the left and pointing to the right. Any thoughts would be great, i have alot of pain in the right shoulder, neck and right hip. I also find it very difficult to sleep as i struggle to get my right hip comfortable. Many thanks Claire

    Reply
    • Hey Claire,

      The rotated torso blog post is 80% finished.

      Make sure to follow me on Facebook so that you will be updated when I post it up.

      Sounds like your pelvis is rotating to the RIGHT (“right hip seems to be going backwards”) with the torso following the pelvis rotation to the right (“Left shoulder forward”).

      Have you though about addressing the pelvis rotation to see if it helps with the torso?

      How to fix a Rotated Pelvis.

      Mark

      Reply
      • Hi Mark,

        Thanks for the great advice, yes ive been trying doing the rotated pelvis exercises on your advice. Fingers crossed it helps.

        Thanks Claire

  16. Hey mark… i m really very tensed when ever i take picture from front..the stomach on right side is more forward and there is no proper curve when i take picture from back my one hip is rotated forward and same side shoulder and rib cage is also rotated and same leg donot move back as left one when i walk it seems very stiff ad if i can not move back when walking

    Reply
  17. Hi Mark! Thanks for the informative blog. I was wondering if any of the exercises would fix uneven lengthed shoulders as well. I have an irregular lump/muscle growth on the trapezius muscle of my longer side. My collar bone is more parallel on that side because it is pushed down by the muscle, my guess is. I have seen my family physician but he does not know what the issue is; if you have any insight or information on what this could be and how to fix it, that would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
    • Hi Ella,

      What exactly is the lump in the muscle?

      Have a quick google search of “Lipoma” and see if that is what you have.

      In regards to what you have described, it sounds like your “longer side” is more depressed than the other shoulder.

      If this is the case – I would follow the exercises for “Depressed shoulder” and see how you go with that.

      Good luck!

      Mark

      Reply
  18. Hello Sir , I came across your page and to be honest with you , it’s like a breath of fresh air ?. I am an aspiring body builder but recently , I’ve discovered that I’ve got some muscle imbalances . My right traps is higher than my left . Which leads to other imbalances like a shoulder bigger than the other . Sir , I’d like to know if I can send you a picture of myself and you can tell me which exercises to do and how to correct it . Please sir I am impatiently waiting for your reply . Thanks ???

    Reply
  19. Hey your article was helpful just wanted to get your opinion. So I have uneven shoulders started happening over like 6-9 months ago slowly started to notice it and I started working out about 3 months ago not thinking about it actually made it worse muscle imbalance. So I work at home at a desk using a mouse and keyboard all day found out that my desk was uneven I actually lifted my desk up on both sides and just noticed one side must of fell down over time which I really couldn’t tell but I think that’s what caused them to get uneven. My right shoulder is the dominant one but is lower and my left shoulder is higher. I was thinking would it be smart to left up the left side of the desk now and drop the right side down to help even it out or just make it the same height? I have started to use a heat pad and just ordered a theracane to help massage the muscle tightness out. I also want to try other exercises. I know I read also if you are always using the mouse could cause it but I think the main thing was that my desk was uneven. Please get back to me with any thoughts would be helpful.

    Reply
  20. Hi mark,

    Please help! I have uneven shoulder problem. i continued hanging my laptop bag on right hand that”s why it look like bigger compare to left side. also look slope downward. so which exercise do you recommend.

    Reply
      • Thanks mark.

        But I have another oddity. Actually I have not decided in which category of uneven shoulder I am. So i want to show you my shoulder posture. So please let me know if this is possible. If yes then how ?

  21. Hi Mark,

    Thanks so much for the awesome content on this site! I will make a donation because the material presented here has helped me so much. I have been working on my rotated pelvis for months. I did not even know that was what was wrong until I found this site and started to apply its principles a few weeks aga. Just in time too as my sleep was becoming seriously disrupted by spasms in my QL that I could not permanently release.
    I’ve worked my way through all your recommended procedures making progress and learning so much along the way! I have almost resolved/can manage my pelvic rotation and lateral shift and am now moving on to my shoulders having discovered my right shoulder is seriously rounded with corresponding neck issues!
    As a bonus dealing with my rotated pelvis seems to have sharpened the vision in my right eye! Unbelievable!

    Reply
  22. Hi Mark, I wonder if you could give me some advice. My rib cage is stuck rotated to the right (left sticking out, right inside) for over a year now, it happened instantly when I was coming up from a dumbbell bench. This is causing me to have many other issues: left raised shoulder, pain in left back, left hip larger. Chiro can’t correct it. Bone-scan/MRI/Xray show no issue. I would appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you.

    Reply
  23. Hey mark! I have one shoulder forward than other my one shoulder is rotated and the same side rib cage is also rotated and flared when i stand my one leg is also forward it donot go back..i dont know whats tha problem but really tensed And i have winged scapula on same side and on same side my leg is internally rotated and foot pronated…what should i do please guide me

    Reply
  24. Mark, this is an amazing wealth of knowledge, thank you, thank you!!! For the last 15 years or so, my right shoulder has been stuck in a down and forward position. It constantly feels heavy and I suspect that my shoulder issues may be responsible for pulling my right hip out of alignment which is also stuck forward. The muscles all along the right side of my spine are super tight/sore, especially at T10-T12 causing me to lean right and with several areas with rib pain. My right leg is flared outward and basically the whole right side of my body is super tense, even the muscles in the right side of my face. I am right hand dominant and I played tennis, baseball and other sports which contributed to my shoulder issues. I have tried soooo many things for years, PT, chiro, yoga, etc. but nothing has had long-term results. I’ll feel better after a yoga class, stretching, etc., but my body reverts fairly quickly to my typical ‘stuck’ position. I have also done a fair amount of computer work in my career and feel that having my right side reaching for the mouse was a contriuting factor. For the past several years I am aware not to use the mouse this way and often will use it with my left hand, which helps some. I have also developed forward head posture, likely from sitting the wrong way at the computer. I will work through your suggestions on this site on how to address the shoulder issues I am experiencing, but would love to hear any feedback you have on why these issues continue to reoccur. I suspect that I am at times getting the muscles adequately stretched while doing a yoga class, but then perhaps there has not been enough strengthening of the correct muscles to retain the new position? Also, given that I have shoulder, back, hip, etc. issues throughout my right side I am wondering if you have a recommendation for how I should approach getting back into overall alignment and whether I should be addressing all of these problem areas at once or in some sort of preferred sequence? Thanks in advance for any guidance you have and again great site!!!

    Reply
  25. Hi Mark. This page is quality! I’ve been looking for the right information specifically for me for a while an come across nothing as informative as this. Quick question, my right shoulder pulls down an forwards an I have really slight winging scapula on my right side too. I’ve recently noticed my right hip has also dropped, a physio told me my hip has dropped because my shoulder has dropped, I was wondering what your thoughts wer, is it possible my right hip dropping has caused my right shoulder to drop I just hadn’t noticed it drop first? Same physio also told me not to worry about the hip drop just yet it doesn’t mean anything, not sure that’s good advice tho. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Gary,

      It is definitely possible that your shoulder position may have influenced the hip drop.

      If your physio is 100% that your hip drop is not influencing any of your movements or symptoms, then it probably isn’t an immediate issue. I would still try to address it though!

      Mark

      Reply
  26. sir
    Please cannot upload my bodies photo drop here
    i have a serious problem of winged scapula my shoulder is damage my trapezius muscle down
    like abnormal body please sir
    reply my email please help me

    Reply
  27. Hi Mark,
    My son has one trap muscle that is bigger than the other due to years of playing the viola instrument which put extra stress on this one side. Visually, from the back you can tell the muscle is larger than the other side and from the front view the top of trap looks just a little bit higher /perhaps bulkier than the other side. What do you suggest is his best course of action to reduce the bulk and even out the look? He does not play the viola any more but since he is in college I am concerned his posture may be affected. Can he reduce the bulk by stretching out those muscle fibers? What exercises/stretches to improve this issue do you suggest? He is also working out with free weights now so hoping to relay information on what to avoid and what to focus on or if he should eliminate free weights for shoulder area altogether for now. Thanks so much for anyy info you can relay.

    Reply
  28. Hi Mark,

    Need your help if at all possible.

    Just a quick one, one of my clients suffers with wrist pain on both L&R side and not sure whether this is related to his shoulders at all or whether you have any other ideas? On his right side (posterior view) his shoulder is pretty depressed in comparison to his right. He also suffers with QL pain on his right side also? Not 100% on where to start, not sure whether it’s a pelvis issue causing problems upward or visa versa also if that makes sense? Any help I would be much appreciate of.

    Thanks again,
    Jodie

    Reply
    • Hey Jodie,

      Is this bilateral wrist pain related to a known mechanism of injury? (RSI, fall, certain exercise etc)

      If you are suspecting there is nothing wrong with the actually wrist structurally (cleared on scans, full ROM, negative on all tests, normal strength etc etc), I would go further up the chain and look at the neck. Make sure there is full range of motion, question if any neurological symptoms are being experienced, check head posture, investigative scans. It could be referred pain.

      Mark

      Reply
  29. Hey mark I’m 16 year old boy and I have pectus excavatum. I am trying to fix this problem. My pectus is on my left side. Because of this my left shoulder is pulled down. I wanted to know if my roundedness in one shoulder is permanent because of my bone structure. I have been trying to fix this for months with minimal results. Thanks you

    Reply
  30. https://imgur.com/a/EKTov50

    Hey mark, here I posted two video of me flexing my shoulder blades and chest and there are some seriously funky looking movements going on here. Ive tried the elevated and depressed scapulas exercises and I’ve done the lateral pelvic tilt and rotated pelvis exercises multiple times and nothing is working. I want to see a PT but ive come so far I feel like I could do it myself but nothing is working, also looking at my physique could it be weak lats too?

    Reply
  31. Hi there

    Great post!

    If this is a problem for me should i stop all upper body workouts in the gym? more specifically all main lifts (bench pull ups dead lifts, overhead press,dips)

    Reply
    • Hey Dev,

      If your main goal is to even out the shoulders, then I would stick with these exercises for now.

      As you gain more control over your shoulders, feel free to challenge it with your upper body work outs at the gym.

      Mark

      Reply
  32. Hello Mark,

    I have uneven shoulders. My left clavicle bone is higher than right clavicle bone. I used uneven romen rings for chin up for a long period ( 5 years )and got this problem. How it can be solved ? Which exercise suits me.

    Is it possible to rectify it completely ?

    Suggest me your opinion please.

    Sincerely,
    Dieesh

    Reply
    • Hi Dileesh,

      In the absence of any lateral curvature of the spine, the exercises mentioned should help you out.

      Relative to “normal”, you will need to decide whether if you have a high left shoulder or a low right shoulder.

      From here – you can follow the routine as mentioned in the blog post.

      Mark

      Reply
  33. mr wong can you help me please. i have lost my insurance and dont know where else to turn. when i look in the mirror my right shoulder is almost 2 inches below my left shoulder. my hips are almost at the same level.BUT my left hip juts out about two inches from the side. the right hip is in a straight line from the shoulder to the foot. (another words there is no hip to keep my pants up LOL) BUT the left hip sticking out does not look right. PS: i HAVE NO disc between L4 & L5. I did not have surgery to fuse the vertebrae and have been living with the on and off pain. thank you

    Reply
  34. Sir mark, which of the least exercises is best for my winged and tight pec muscles that i highly need to embark on……..atleast to focus on them for better results cus is really affecting my self esteem

    Reply

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