3 Easy and Effective Exercises to Fix Winged Scapula

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

Snowboarding

This was taken while I was snowboarding with my son.

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

Enjoy!

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube 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 [sticking out] when I was doing pushups. Is this a bad thing? What are some exercises that I can do to fix this?”

When you are performing pushups, 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 the 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 toward tightening the muscles in the shoulder blades and back area.

Set the Scapula

Set the Scapula

Perform one set of 5 reps with a 3- to 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 into 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 protract and round the shoulder forward excessively. 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 one set of 5 reps with a 3- to 5-second hold at the end. 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 Pushups

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

Wall Pushups

Wall Pushups

Pushing through the hands and doing the pushup 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 pushups, 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 one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a 1- to 2-second hold at the top. 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 pushups. They will help you out.

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

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS