T Nation

Correct Shoulder Position


Hey,

I have a question about my posture. My shoulder blades kind of ‘stick out’ a little. Moreover recently, the bottom of my shoulder blades ‘stick out’.

Is this normal?

Is their any type of exercise I should be doing?

Thanks for any input.

I can see your shoulder blades sticking out, but it would be easier to “diagnose” your "problem with a front shot, and back shot of you.

All I can tell right now is that you are skinny and seem to be lacking mass all over, including your back.

Dude, my functional anatomy teacher was talking about this. It is some kind of “weakness” that can be corrected with scapular retraction exercizes (ie horizontal rows where you really squeeze your scaps (shoulder blades) in tight). Just add some mass to your back and it will look fine.(no joke intended)

oh yeah and eat…

I know I need to add mass. I have been trying.

I think I just need to strengthen my lats and do some scapular retraction exercises, and I’ll be good.

My shoulder blades used to do the same thing. It’s almost totally gone now. Main things that have helped are lots of rows w/squeeze at the retraction, scapular wall slides, shrugs and other trap exercises (especially anything for the mid/lower traps), cable scarecrows helped a TON, and pullups actually. At the top position of a pullup you will find that the shoulder blades “flatten out” on the back. Try holding the top position for a few seconds on each one.

Mine winged out in the same spot as yours, and these are the exercises that have been helping me. Good luck!

This site, and others, contains a lot of articles about that. I’ve made a list:

Out of Kilter
How to Identify and Correct Imbalances
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460268

Out of Kilter II:
No More Back Pain
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459259

Out of Kilter III
End needless knee pain!
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459499

Out of Kilter IV
Stop Shoulder Pain Cold!
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459716

Neanderthal No More Part I
The complete guide to fixing your caveman posture!
by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=314nean2

Neanderthal No More, Part II
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=315nean2

Neanderthal No More III
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-004-training

Neanderthal No More, Part IV
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=472224

Neanderthal No More, Part V
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-115-training

Pelvis Has Left the Building!
How pelvic alignment and proper exercise program design can keep the injury goblins at bay
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459441

The Cat’s Lair
Q&A with John Paul Catanzaro
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459536

Achieving Structural Balance
By Charles Poliquin
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459454

The Weakest Link
by Don Alessi
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459910

Treating Diseases of Excellence
NEW TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMATION
Sensei Ken O’Neill
www.dolfzine.com/page666.htm

Rotator Cuff Rehab
Sensei Ken O’Neill
www.dolfzine.com/page391.htm

Shoulder Rehabilitation
by Dr. David T. Ryan,
Winner of the Cecil Award, National Arthritis Foundation
http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/documents/shoulder-rehab.htm

Shoulder the Load
by Mike Robertson
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=538204

Long Live Your Bench
by Ian King
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460658

8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=818555
I use their rehab workout once every week.

Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=280rotator2

Heal that Hunchback!
by Mike Robertson, M.S., C.S.C.S., U.S.A.W.
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459846

Shoulder Savers: Part I
by Eric Cressey
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1053531

Shoulder Savers: Part II
by Eric Cressey
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1055409

That being said, I’m not convinced you have a shoulder problem.

thats a comprehensive list bro, thanx!

MikeKubo, yeah I’ll try the pull-up thing you mentioned.

Wreckless, sweet list. Sometimes it’s hard to find all the relevant articles because there are so many!

[quote]MikeKubo wrote:
My shoulder blades used to do the same thing. It’s almost totally gone now. Main things that have helped are lots of rows w/squeeze at the retraction, scapular wall slides, shrugs and other trap exercises (especially anything for the mid/lower traps), cable scarecrows helped a TON, and pullups actually. At the top position of a pullup you will find that the shoulder blades “flatten out” on the back. Try holding the top position for a few seconds on each one.

Mine winged out in the same spot as yours, and these are the exercises that have been helping me. Good luck![/quote]

You said cable scarecrows helped you a ton. Just wondering, are they different than rear delt raises, and how?

(I have a similar issue and doing rear delt raises havent seemed to help me much yet)

Thanks!

[quote]MikeKubo wrote:
My shoulder blades used to do the same thing. It’s almost totally gone now. Main things that have helped are lots of rows w/squeeze at the retraction, scapular wall slides, shrugs and other trap exercises (especially anything for the mid/lower traps), cable scarecrows helped a TON, and pullups actually. At the top position of a pullup you will find that the shoulder blades “flatten out” on the back. Try holding the top position for a few seconds on each one.

Mine winged out in the same spot as yours, and these are the exercises that have been helping me. Good luck![/quote]

You said cable scarecrows helped you a ton. Just wondering, are they different than rear delt raises, and how?

(I have a similar issue and doing rear delt raises havent seemed to help me much yet)

Thanks!

This is in no way a flame: post delt exersizes like scarecrows are useless for someone with your mass. Just do some heavy scapular retraction and add mass, the “problem” will go away. Worry about your posterior delts later.

Wreckless: Awesome post. I bookmarked this thread because of it. Thanks for digging up all those links.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
This site, and others, contains a lot of articles about that. I’ve made a list…

8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=818555
I use their rehab workout once every week.[/quote]

Thanks for the great work putting that list together. I just did the “8 weeks” rehab routine. What a killer!

None of that 3 sets of 15 crap for 45 minutes, like at the PT. I felt worked out in more muscles than just my rotators and the supersets made it all good and concise.

Most cool. I will report back in a few weeks on what this promising routine did for me.

Regards,
Scott

[quote]entropy_fx wrote:
This is in no way a flame: post delt exersizes like scarecrows are useless for someone with your mass. Just do some heavy scapular retraction and add mass, the “problem” will go away. Worry about your posterior delts later. [/quote]

Mass has nothing to do with it. I wish someone had taught me preventattive RC and Scapular exercises a long time ago.

Right now, I can’t train because my lats and neck are so sore. It’s been an on-going problem. I think my lats are really tight so I have been trying to stretch using my arm and a wall. I use my arm to pull against the wall to stretch my lats. When I lean my neck back, in a certain position I can feel the soreness run through my entire back.

My problem happened because I had incorrect lifting technique that I was unaware of. I was rolling my entire shoulder girdle backwards in order to squeeze the shoulder blades together during bench press and pushups. One could imagine the amazing imbalance created from that.

I looked through mostly all the articles provided. I’m still unsure what my condition is or if I am doing all the correct stretches. I’m just doing a myriad of different stretching exercises for my lats and upper back. I’m guessing they are correct provided it feels good when I do them, and it feels like it needs to be stretched. I’m unsure if my scapula position is correct. I try to look and take pictures and read what is provided, but really I’m not good at reading the data and coming up with a specific corrective stretches.

This problem has been ongoing 6 months. I have not really been able to train. Recently, last week, my entire back started getting sore because of all the stretching I started doing. I didn’t even know my entire back was tight as of a couple weeks ago. Now, it hurts so badly.

Can anyone relate to all my frustration I am having?

describe what you were doing with the pushups again…

search for scap pushups on this site. they help strengthen the scapular retrators. they are a good warmup excercise as well before lifting heavy stuff

if your lats are tight try doing a pullup stretch

basically, use straps and hang from the pullup bar for 90 seconds and pray to god cause it hurts like hell

also, its pretty fun to do and builds muscle

its called extreme stretching

Hawkson thanks for the response! Yeah, and with the pushups N bench press. I was rolling my shoulders back and really squeezing my shoulder blades together. Just imagine this. A guy trying to touch his shoulder blades together only being stopped my muscle.

To my understanding now, I was suppose to keep the shoulders in a straight line. It’s funny cause I read squeeze them together except I missed the part where I wasn’t suppose to roll them back (lose the straight line).

Ok yeah, I have done a limited amount of hanging stretch. (half my body weight 20-30seconds) I will def try to hang for 90secs and really feel it. At this point, I’m close to losing my mind over this injury because I can train, but then 3 days later I’m practically incapacitated for the week.

Glad for any help fellas.