Scapular Muscles

Scapular Muscles

The scapular muscles are two little skeletal muscles that arise from either side of the base of the neck and are joined at a location in front of every shoulder blade. They are also known as the wings of the back, shoulder girdles, or shoulder blades.

The scapular muscles are responsible for elevating and depressing your shoulders in order to keep them from falling forward (and possibly hitting your nose). They work with several other prominent muscle groups including your trapezius muscles, rhomboids, levator scapulae, and serratus anterior.

The scapular muscles’ role in supporting and maintaining the scapula allows them to move quickly against other bones in your back during arm motions. These muscles enable you to raise your hands or place them behind your back. Without these six little muscles, you would not be able to lift your shoulders, create a fist, or move your hands upward or downward.

The importance of these muscles in regard to shoulder health can not be overstated.

What are the scapular muscles?

The following is a list of the muscles that attach to the scapula, or shoulder blade. Sadly, despite the fact that these muscles are crucial to shoulder function, they are frequently overlooked throughout a workout program or recovery from a shoulder injury.

What are the names of the scapular muscles?

16 primary muscles connect to the shoulder blade:

  1. Pectoralis minor
  2. Coracobrachialis
  3. Serratus anterior
  4. Triceps brachii
  5. Biceps brachii
  6. Subscapularis
  7. Rhomboids major
  8. Rhomboids minor
  9. Levator scapulae
  10. Trapezius
  11. Deltoid
  12. Supraspinatus
  13. Infraspinatus
  14. Teres Minor
  15. Teres Major
  16. Latissimus Dorsi

As you can see, there are a lot of muscles that affect the scapula.

What do these scapular muscles do to the scapula?

  1. Prevents your scapula from moving out of its place.
  2. Move the scapula with ease.

Your rotator cuff is safeguarded by the scapular muscles, which maintain it in the proper position. In addition, your shoulder is free to move without pain or discomfort, but its range of motion is limited and vulnerable to injury if your shoulder girdles are damaged.

What movements do scapular muscles do?

These are not all the movements that the scapula can do, but they are the primary ones.  I will cover the other activities in another article.

  1. elevate
  2. depress
  3. protract
  4. retract
  5. upwardly rotate
  6. downwardly rotate

Why are the scapular muscles so important?

The scapular muscles are very important because they perform nearly everything in daily life while preventing injury. Your shoulders can move all the time because the scapular muscles, the rotator cuff, and most of the shoulder muscles work together efficiently.

The scapular muscles are the most vulnerable of the three. Therefore, you must make them stronger to prevent injury and speed up recovery.

What is an example of a good exercise program?

Check out this wonderful exercise for developing your shoulder blades, the scapular clock.

Shoulder Injury

The strength of your shoulder muscles determines how long it takes to recover from a shoulder injury. In other words, if you are having shoulder issues, you must work on your scapular muscles. That means you must boost your shoulder muscles’ strength and add to your exercise list the following exercises:

  1. rotator cuff
  2. shoulder dislocation
  3. shoulder impingement
  4. AC joint injuries

Look at more of my recommended exercise program that helps strengthen your muscles.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Here is a muscle exercise regimen.

Scapular Stabilization Exercises