Unlocking the Scapulae: Fixing Rounded Shoulders : Part 6

Ok, what have we covered so far?

#1 We have tested for rounded shoulders in the push-up position.

#2 We have tested limitations that cause anterior shoulder pain. 

So now the question is how do we fix rounded shoulders?

If the scapula cannot retract (meaning bringing shoulder blades together), it also means they are probably protracted (aka rounded shoulders). Below is the scapula movement that needs to occur on the rib cage to bring the scapulae together.

 

So If the scapula does not retract, how can we get into a proper shoulder position. We see this done wrong all the time in the gym. People are constantly rounding their shoulders when doing exercises. The serratus is a muscle found underneath your shoulder blade that can hinder your ability to pull your shoulder blades together.

Here are a couple of great exercise to help with serratus retraction (aka bringing those shoulder blades together)

The following video shows 4 exercises to improve retraction of the scapula. 

 I would first attempt to roll out your chest muscles (pectoral muscles)
 When on all fours allow the scapulae to retract and your chest to fall. You might just feel the serratus stretching under the scapula. Make sure to keep the arms straight. The goal is to let your shoulder blades go backwards. Stay here for 10-30 seconds and then push back up. Attempt multiple times!!
 This next exercise is one I have not found much use for…until NOW! This is a good time to use this and see how far you can twist with keeping the weight overhead. 
 The last exercise is retraction using a band.

 

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