The opposite end of the spectrum requires strengthening the retractors and depressors of the scapulae, as well as the serratus anterior.
Using various prone position retraction, and depression exercises will help to strengthen the mid back. These exercises include Y’s, T’s, Cobra’s, Rows (elbows out), Rows (elbows back), Blackburns, etc. Making sure athletes maintain proper position during rectraction, and depression exercises is key to strengthening the mid back.
Creating thoracic extension will go a long way in helping resolve the problem of rounded over shoulders. Athletes rounded over are at increased risk when performing overhead movements because the sub-acromial space is decreased. By extending the thoracic spine, we actually open up the front side stretching the chest and rectus abdominus. As well, we gain activation of the thoracic musculature on the back side.
Athletes that are at an increased risk for upper crossed syndrome include tennis players, swimmers, and baseball athletes. I have seen it in swimmers and tennis players most frequently. These athletes’ main sporting movements involve lots of humeral internal rotation. In the end proper training adaptations must be made to correct the imbalances that occur through sport. Being conscious of proper posture outside of the sport as well will help to reset the problems associated with upper crossed syndrome.