3 Easy and Effective Exercises to Fix Winged Scapula

Hey, I have another photo for you from last weekend…


This was taken while I was snowboarding with my son. 

Shoulder injuries are common in skiing and snowboarding. So today, I will share three exercises that you can do if you have shoulder weakness that affects your shoulder function.



Today, I wanted to answer a common question…

“What should I do if my shoulder blades winged when I perform push ups?”

Why Do My Shoulder Blades Stick Out

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

Here is the specific question from a customer named Ron…

“Today, I was at the gym working out and my workout partner noticed that my shoulder blades were winging when I was doing push ups. Is this a bad thing? What are some exercise that I can do to fix this?”

When you are performing push ups, during the upper body movement the shoulder blades play a role. The muscles around the shoulder blade need to turn on, bringing those shoulder blades up against your back and staying there. If they are winging, that means they are showing weakness, poor activation and endurance.

You need to work on these three things: activation, endurance, and strength of your shoulder blade muscle. If you don’t, you increase the risk of injury in the muscles of the shoulder joint. Here are the three exercises that you can do.

#1 – Set the Scapula

This is a basic exercise where you set the scapula and activate the muscles around the shoulder blades.

Stand upright. Bring your shoulder blades back and pull down, holding this position for a couple of seconds. Relax and then repeat the movement. You are working towards tightening the muscles in the shoulder blades and back area.

Set the Scapula

Set the Scapula

Perform 1 set of 5 reps with a 3-5 second hold at the end position. In terms of intensity, you want to feel that the muscles are being activated and worked. You might feel a little bit of fatigue in the muscles.

#2 – Ball on the Wall

For this exercise, we can use a medicine ball, basketball, or soccer ball.

Hold the ball with one hand and press it against the wall. Lean onto it a little bit to wake up the muscles around the shoulder blade.

You don’t necessarily need a medicine ball. You can use something to push that has a little weight, helping to activate the muscles in the inside and lower part of the shoulder blade. Do not excessively protract and round the shoulder forward. Stay in good posture when leaning onto the ball.

You can progress to do the movement from the side. Bring one arm to the side and lean on the ball without changing the position of the other shoulder. This targets the muscles in the shoulder blade area.

Ball on the Wall

Ball on the Wall

Perform 1 set of 5 reps with a 3-5 second hold at the end position. In terms of the intensity, we sure we are engaging the muscles in the shoulder blade area. Remember not to change the position of the shoulder when leaning on the ball.

#3 – Wall Push Ups

Place both hands flat against the wall at shoulder height, and do the push up movement. Your body must be at an angle that works for you.

Wall Pushups

Wall Pushups

Pushing through the hands and doing the push up movement works on the shoulder blade muscles. If the elbow is flaring out too far, it puts more stress on the rotator cuff. So if you feel pinching pain in the shoulder when you do push ups, make your elbows aren’t too high. Put them down, aligning at 45 degrees with your body, or bring them closer to your body.

Perform 1 set of 5 reps with a 1-2 second hold, in a smooth controlled movement, with a good stop at the top position. In terms of intensity, we want those muscles around the shoulder blade to work.

Give these three exercises a go if you notice that your shoulder blade is winging when you do push ups. They will definitely help you out.

If you want to learn how to permanently end your shoulder discomfort , then click here to check out the Fix My Shoulder Pain program.

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS