Correcting Scapular Winging
Correcting Scapular Winging and Shoulder Impingement
Do you feel like your shoulder just doesn’t “sit” properly? Or maybe you’ve noticed some scapular winging or pain in your anterior shoulder? Although sometimes asymptomatic, scapular winging can lead to decreased mobility. It can also cause shoulder impingement and loss of strength and stability. Scapular winging (when the inner border of your shoulder blade protrudes from off your rib cage), happens for many reasons.
1) Tight Pecs pulling the shoulder forward One cause is tightening of the pec minor and levator scapulae pulling the scapula anteriorly. Another is weakness in the surrounding scapular muscles including the external rotators, serratus anterior, mid traps and rhomboids.
2) Lack of Strength in Rotator Cuff Our shoulder joint relies on stability in all directions, so when we lack strength in certain scapular stabilizers, we are predisposed to rotator cuff tendinitis or tears in the labrum. These can start out as a minor nuisance in the young athlete, but left unaddressed can progress into degenerative changes and arthritis as adults.
3) Playing overhead sports Sports which involve overhead movements such as tennis, volleyball, baseball and football are especially prone to repetitive strain injuries in the shoulder. If you feel like your scapula just doesn’t “sit” properly, or you notice winging, this is a good indicator that strengthening the external rotators, serratus anterior, rhomboids and mid traps would benefit you.
Exercise 1: WALL SLIDES
Cross a resistance band behind your back and hold each end in one hand. Starting in the wall plank position, slide your forearms up the wall to make a Y. Maintain pressure on the wall with your forearms at all times, and keep your shoulder down and back. 2-3 sets of 10.
Exercise 2: ROUND BAND TAPS
Start in wall plank position and loop the band around your forearms. Reach out and tap the wall in a clockwise, then counterclockwise patters. Ensure that you are engaging your shoulder external rotators (the back of the shoulder blade) while you do this.