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By Katie Blosveren, Kyle Glazer, Azsanai Jones, Fredrika Chase, Jenna Federici, Kayvon Alizadeh

Shoulder pain is a common problem seen among individuals. Researchers have found that the scapula plays a large role in decreasing symptoms related to shoulder pain. Studies have shown that these symptoms may be due to the imbalance in muscle strength between the muscles of the scapula: the trapezius (upper, middle, and lower) and the serratus anterior. Below are some exercises that are great for retraining the muscles surrounding the scapula and decreasing shoulder pain.

For research on this topic, click here: Rehabilitation of Scapular Muscle Balance. Which Exercises to Prescribe?

Proper Scapular Movement

  • Try to avoid just moving the arms at the shoulder
  • Actively engage the upper back muscles by pulling the scapula in toward the spine
  • For the improper form, you will notice the scapula does not draw back fully. This is corrected in the proper form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Low Row 1: Extended Elbow

  • ┬áStand upright with your arms in neutral and core tight.
  • Maintain a locked elbow.
  • Pull the band until the arm is in neutral.

 

 

 

 


Low Row 2: Flexed Elbow

  • Stand upright with your arms in neutral and core tight.
  • Maintain a straight elbow.
  • Pull the band until the arm is by your hip.

 

 

 

 


High Row on the Pulldown Machine

  • Stand upright with core tight holding the bar.
  • Maintain a straight back.
  • Pull the bar until it is below your chest.

 

 

 

 


High Row With Bands

  • Stand upright with core tight holding the band.
  • Maintain a straight back.
  • Pull the band down to your side.

 

 

 

 


Seated Row with Bands

  • Sit upright with your core tight, holding the band with straight arms.
  • Pull the bands to your sides while bending at the elbow.

 

 

 

 


Scaption with External Rotation

      • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
      • Keep arms at a 45 degree angle.
      • Keep elbows in and bent at 90 degrees.

 

 

 

 


Forward Flexion

      • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
      • Keep elbows extended throughout exercise.
      • Reach maximal flexion with each rep.

 

 


Prone Extension

      • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
      • Lay facing down with elbows extended.
      • Start and end each rep at the level of your torso.
      • Pull back enough so that you feel your shoulder blades come together.

 

 


Horizontal Abduction

        • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
        • Lay facing down with elbows flexed at 90 degrees.
        • Pull back enough so that you feel your shoulder blades come together.

 

 


Side Lying External Rotation

        • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
        • Lay facing down with elbows flexed at 90 degrees.
        • Keep pillow under arm that is externally rotating.
        • Keep arm at torso.
        • Pull back enough so that you feel your shoulder blades come together.

 

 


Side Lying Forward Flexion

      • Maintain a stable core and neutral spine.
      • Lay at your side with one arm under your head.
      • Extend opposite elbow.
      • Reach maximal flexion with each rep.

 

 

 


Below is a link to a printout of each exercise shown above, along with written cues on how to do them properly.
Scapular Muscle Exercises Worksheet

For more effective exercises and more information to assist in the improvement of your hip mobility, schedule an appointment with us: CALL: (443)-213-0395 or E-mail us at: DAVE@IMPACT-Fellowship.com