Scapular Stability

BalanceThe muscles that support the scapulae (shoulder blades) play a big role in neck and upper extremity health and function. Weakness or faulty movement of the scapulae contribute to abnormal stresses to the structures of the shoulder including the rotator cuff, as well as contribute to recruitment of other muscles.  This becomes a compensation pattern that can lead to overuse and pain.

This concept is similar to abdominal stability.  Those that suffer from low back pain or a lower extremity injury may lack sufficient stability through the abdominals which may have been a contributing factor.

The Push-up plus is an exercise to strengthen the muscles that stabilize each scapula and facilitate proper movement.

Begin on all fours (push up plusknees under your hips and hands under your shoulders).  While keeping your elbows straight, lower your chest towards the floor and feel your lower shoulder blades slide together.  Press up and feel your shoulder blades begin to separate.  Press up until your shoulder blades separate as far as possible and your back stays straight and moves up towards the ceiling.  Repeat.  Perform 10 repetitions.  These can be performed twice per day.

Fine tune this exercise by maintaining ideal posture.  Keep your chin tucked with your head in line with your spine.  Avoid shrugging your shoulders up towards your ears.  Hold your spine neutral and breathe normally.  If this exercise is difficult it can be modified with less resistance by standing with your palms against the wall.

For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at www.shawchiroandsport.com.

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