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Shoulders & Scapula

It is impossible to have optimal shoulder health without optimal scapular health, which is why these two are combined and strengthening of these joints should not be considered in isolation. These are also directly tied into thoracic mobility and strength. 

We have what is called scapulohumeral rhythm. 

In the initial 30 degrees of humeral movement, the scapula may not move, however for every 2 degrees of movement in the humerus there needs to be 1 degree at the scapula. What this means is that for every 3 degrees of elevation, 2 degrees occur at the glenohumeral joint (the shoulder), and 1 degree at the scapulothoracic joint. 

There is also substantial movement that occurs in the clavicle during shoulder motions. With the shoulder fully elevated, the clavicle elevates to a 60 degree angle. The clavicle can also move forward and backward 25-30 degrees. 

If we have weakness or lack of flexibility in any of the muscles surrounding these joints, then dysfunction may be present.

Muscles that produce upward rotation of the scapula: Trap, Serratus Anterior

Muscles that produce downward rotation of the scapula: Levator Scapulae, Rhomboid Minor & Major, Lattisimus Dorsi, & Pec Minor

- These Muscles are typically found to be overdeveloped or hypertonic in comparison to our upward rotators, so we really want to focus on eccentric training of these muscles

Muscles that produce Scapular Protraction: Serratus Anterior & Pec Minor

Muscles that produce Scapular Retraction: Rhomboid Major/Minor, Lat, & Middle Trap

Muscles that produce scapular Elevation: Rhomboid Major/Minor, Upper Trap, & Levator Scapulae

Challenging the Rotator Cuff

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