If you are experiencing specific or chronic pain, it is important to consult your doctor before adding any of these stretches or strengthening exercises to your daily routine.

Diaphragm Strengthening



(You can purchase sand at Lowes, Ace, Home Depot, garden stores, ect., and then pour desired weight into a ziplock)


--Lay comfortably on back with bolster under knees and head supported with rolled towel or pillow with arms out to sides


--Place sand bag just under rib cage, across diaphragm


--Slowly breathe deeply letting your abdomen raise first then chest (do not breath into chest first, make sure you let the air raise your belly, this contracts your diaphragm)


--Then slowly exhale, letting diaphragm release


--Make sure you are slowing your breath as much as possible.  Try for 5 seconds of inhalation, then 5 seconds of exhalation.  Breathing should be slow and controlled


--You can do this for 5-15 minutes daily in morning and/or night


--Watch the YouTube video above for reference


*do this while laying on a foam roller for chest stretch and diaphragm strengthening in one.


Why this exercise is helpful: A weak diaphragm can contribute to rounded, hunched over posture.  It also allows for shallow breathing which can cause the body to be under more anxiety and stress. Strengthening the diaphragm, along with the shoulders and core, can straighten posture and get rid of pain and discomfort while allowing you to stay relaxed and comfortable during any daily activity.



Shoulder Squeeze



--Stand comfortably with hand weights (use what is comfortable for you 3lbs-10lbs)


--Lift arms in front of you with weights almost touching


--Slowly separate weights, opening chest and squeezing shoulder blades together and then bring back in front of chest


--Make sure you are standing straight with abs tucked, feet slightly apart, shoulders dropped and looking straight ahead


--Do sets of 10, 1-3 times a day


--Watch the YouTube video above for reference


Why this strengthening is helpful: This exercise strengthens the rotator cuff and in between the shoulder blades balancing out the shoulders.  Doing this regularly can help with rounded posture and shoulder pain and discomfort. 

Rhomboid Strengthening



--Stand comfortably with desired hand weights


--Lift arms to be parallel with the floor fists shoulder width apart


--Bring elbows back slowly, squeezing shoulder blades together, then release forward again


--Do this in sets of 10, 1-3 times daily


--Watch the YouTube video above for reference


Why this exercise is helpful: This strengthens the muscles in between the shoulder blades, which pulls the shoulders back.  Doing this with pec stretches and pull downs can balance out rounded posture.

Pull Downs



--Stand comfortably with hand weights (use weight that is comfortable for you 3-10 lbs.)


--Lift weights above your head about shoulder width apart


--Slowly lower weights while squeezing shoulder blades down and together


--Then lift back above your head


--Do sets of 10, 1-3 times daily


--Watch the YouTube video above for reference


Why this strengthening is helpful: This exercise helps strengthen the lower trap and lats pulling the shoulders back and down improving rounded posture and eliminating pain and discomfort in the shoulders and neck. 

Using Tennis Balls


You can use one tennis ball, or two.  To use two, put them in a sock.  Two are perfect for accessing the muscles on either side of the spine or the neck.

In between shoulder blades


To work on the space in between your shoulder blades, lean up against a wall and place the sock that has the two tennis balls in the middle of your back, so that a tennis ball is on both sides of your spine.  Press against the balls with the pressure that feels best for you.  By bending and straightening your knees, you can allow the balls to roll up and down your spine.


Why this technique is helpful:  This therapy will help break up muscle and connective tissue adhesions in between the shoulder blades getting rid of tension and pain in this area. Doing this with shoulder strengthenings and pec stretches can help balance out rounded posture. 

Front Plank


--To hold the proper plank position, press through your heels, and forward through your crown, keeping your abdomen flat – don’t let your back sag!  


--Hold for 5 – 10 breaths


--For best results, do this 2-3 times a day


Why this exercise is helpful:  Planks help strengthen the back, core, arms, shoulders and legs.  This will improve strength and balance in the whole body.

Side Plank


--Lie on your side with one foot in front of the other, propped up on one elbow


--Lift your hips off the ground, keeping a straight line from your shoulder to your ankle


--Raise your top arm to the sky, and turn your head to look at it.  Hold the tension for 15 – 20 seconds, breathing deeply


--For best results, do this 2-3 times a day


Why this exercise is helpful:  Planks help strengthen the back, core, arms, shoulders and legs.  This will help with strength and balance in the whole body.

Push-up and modified push-up


--To do a push up, keep the tension in your abdomen that you have with a plank but with arms fully extended


--Make sure your elbows are bending toward your feet, and raise and lower your upper body


--Focus on alternately on squeezing your shoulder blades together and then your pecs


--As a modification, lower yourself to your knees until you build up your upper body strength


--For best results, do 10-15 push-ups a day for a week, then 15-20 a day for another week, and then 20-25 a day


Why this exercise is helpful:  Push-ups help strengthen the arms, shoulders and core. These are helpful specifically for rounded posture and shoulder and arm weakness.

Modified Push-up

Schedule Your Appointment!

For your convenience:


We offer on-line booking Click here to book your appointment today! (Please read our Rescheduling & Cancellation Policy

and the Late Policy before booking your appointment.) 


Or call us to discuss your options:


(734) 929-5930


You can also use our contact form.


Save time by downloading our intake form (if you're a new client, or are gettling Manual Lymphatic Drainage for the first time):


New Client Intake Form & Manual Lymphatic Drainage Intake Form


Purchase Gift Cards Online through MindBody!


Click here to purchase gift cards online.  Just follow the prompts!


Join our mailing list:


If you would like to receive our monthly e-mails, then click here! Our e-mails are sent through Constant Contact, and unsubscribing is as easy as clicking a button.

Body Conscious


2201 Medford Road

Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Find out what you should know before your first appointment. Read our FAQs now.


Get Social With Us

Print Print | Sitemap
© Body Conscious