By: Anthony Campo
Most shoulder pain and dysfunction stems from improper movement patterns and mechanics in the scapula. Here are some simple cues to think about when performing shoulder movements in the gym or at home in order to optimally use the muscles that control the scapula.
There are 3 primary responsibilities of the muscles that control the scapula:
-Scapular upward rotation to assist with shoulder external rotation
-Scapular downward rotation to assist with thoracic extension
“Shoulders Down” – This cue will help to keep the scapula depressed and prevent excessive elevation to keep your shoulders from hiking up during overhead movements. This will create more space in the shoulder complex for proper movement to occur.
“Put Your Shoulder Blades in Your Back Pocket” – This will help to prevent excessive rounding of the back to allow for proper scapular and thoracic mobility during movement.
“Feel Tension Below Your Shoulders Instead Of Above.” – This will help you continuously externally rotate shoulder during overhead movement, which is required for proper mechanics. Your external rotators are located near the outside of the armpit. For proper movement the tension should be felt there instead of the top of the shoulders and neck.