I have anterior pelvic tilt and rounded shoulders due to my desk job. I spent about four months this year lifting weights. It was great for my well-being, but didn't cure the APT and rounded shoulders.

This summer I'm away from the gym, and by the sea. I'm thinking of swimming for exercise, but am concerned that it will harm, rather than ameliorate, my hip and shoulder issues. I assume this because the freestyle stroke seems to involve chest muscles, which are tight in my case.

Is swimming a good idea for someone with my issues, or should I look at other exercises this summer?

  • Unless you are doing primarily backstroke, yes, swimming can exacerbate rounded shoulders. The primary cause is the rear deltoids being relatively weak compared to the front, so the front delts pull the shoulders forward.
    – JohnP
    May 24, 2018 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


There are some warnings about rounded shoulders and swimming that I've seen. I am not familiar with it being an issue with APT, but I suppose it could be. My rounded shoulders took almost a year of weightlifting with two back days a week to resolve. I also had to couple that with making a very conscious effort to correct my posture whenever possible. More specifically, focusing on exercises that zeroed in on my rear delts, lower traps, and rhomboids, really seemed to do the best. Jeff Cavalier has an excellent video on how to fix this. I have been performing these exercises as well for the past 4-5 months and have felt a lot of improvements with it. I did swim a lot in this time frame as well, and actually felt like I had a lot of "upper-middle" back activation along with the lats.

I had some mild APT that actually resolved itself when I started doing "The World's Greatest Stretch" for extended periods of time. I started slow, just like anything, and worked up to about a 5 minute hold on each side. If I did this right before bed, I could really feel the difference the next day.

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