If you want to fix your poor posture and rounded shoulders with the help of a brace, then here are some things you should know.
In this post, I am going to outline the different concerns you need to consider when buying your posture corrector for rounded shoulders.
There are many seemingly similar products to choose between which can make it confusing.
I should mention that no specific product is going to be covered here.
For that kind of information, you can check my post out my buyer’s guide on posture correctors.
What Is A Posture Brace?
A posture brace is a piece of equipment you can wear to improve your posture.
Wearing a posture brace will essentially force your muscles and joints in a position that encourages good posture.
Posture braces have different designs and sizes, but what you will most often see are the smaller braces that just go around your shoulders.
This kind of braces are also called clavicle braces and they provide support for your shoulders, neck, and upper back.
Another kind of posture brace is the bulkier one that resembles a vest. You can call these posture back braces or vest-type posture braces.
This kind of braces offers support for shoulders, neck and the whole back.
You might think you only need a small posture brace to fix your rounded shoulders.
However, posture is often a bit more complicated than you think since the whole body is connected.
So, it could be that you also have issues with mid- and lower back and that those are a contributing factor to your rounded shoulders.
Can A Brace Really Improve My Posture?
Your current posture is something you have developed over a long time. You can be sure that if your posture is bad it is because you have been putting yourself in awkward or straining positions for a long time.
Very often poor posture is developed directly or indirectly due to the many hours spent sitting down every day.
Improving your posture will also require a long time, and because of that anything you can use to help can potentially make a big difference.
Wearing a posture brace can help you become familiar with what good posture is, and perhaps assist you in training the right muscles.
However, you should not expect to get great and fast results from wearing a posture brace alone. Basically, I would say you should not think of it as a complete solution.
You can, of course, do choose only to do exercises, but it will probably not be as effective as combining the two.
Wearing the brace for too long at a time have the potential to make your posture even worse, as the brace is doing “most of the work” stabilizing your posture and not your muscles.
There is an alternative to posture braces that do not have this issue, but these products come at a higher price.
Here is a cool video where Rick Kaselj shows how to fix rounded shoulders. It is a bit long but walks you through the whole problem and how to fix it with different exercises.
Things To Consider When Selecting A Posture Brace
You should be concerned about whether is material breathable and easy to wash.
Posture braces are usually made out of a synthetic fabric, but not all can be washed in a machine.
For some, this can be a deal breaker. Personally, I don’t like to wash things by hand.
One material you often see in these braces are neoprene rubber. The material is perfectly healthy and actually better than things like latex, but neoprene often has a weird smell.
The smell can be strong depending on a few factors like when it was manufactured and how long it has been inside the packaging.
For getting rid of the smell faster the manufacturers recommend washing and airing in the sun.
Easily Concealable Or Not?
Some braces are specifically designed to be worn to be worn underneath clothing. These should also according to the manufacturer be easily concealable.
Being easy to conceal is a great product feature which a lot of people obviously would be interested in.
However, from what I have been able to gather unless you wear more “baggier clothing” you can never full conceal a posture brace.
But if you want to wear a brace at work and looking professional is a concern, then you should get a small one.
Gender-specific Or Unisex?
Many braces are actually both unisex.
Interestingly enough, from what I have been able to understand from the user feedback, fewer people have fitting issues with the unisex braces than gender-specific.
So, perhaps getting a unisex model is a better choice.
Hard To Put On And Take Off
Especially the smaller braces can be a bit hard to put on by yourself. It requires a bit of shoulder flexibility, which is one thing people with rounded shoulders usually don’t have a lot of.
So, if you don’t have anyone around you to help, perhaps choosing the smaller braces are not such a good idea.
You didn’t get your rounded shoulders overnight. Similarly, you won’t cure them overnight.
It is going to be a long process and will require a lot of effort from your side.
Buying a relatively cheap posture brace could potentially make a big difference for you.
A lot of people have reported that they were helpful.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money, then a posture correcting shirt is probably the better choice for you.