T Nation

Reversing Scapular Tipping

Over the years my scapular positon has become a mess so as of late i have been doing exercises to help fix it: Various trap exercises exercises, thoracic extension work, scap push ups etc…Most of the these focus on depressing and retracting the scapulae which i absolutley need.

However, i also seem to have some scapular tipping where the blades are sort of coming up and over my clavicle resulting in some pretty severe hunchbackyness (yeah, i made that word up)as well as, not surprisingly, some shoulder pain/weakness.

In short, if you look at my profile you can see the blades coming up an over my back and the head of humerus is rotated forward and easy to palpatate with one’s hand (which i cannot imagine being a good thing).It seems like to correct this i would keep my arm straight and raise it up and over my shoulder line: This seems to rotate the humeral head back to where it is not internally rotated and puts the shoulder blades flush tothe back of my ribs, where they should be.

So, i started doing this exercise (with only a bottle of salad dressing as reisitance, as it seems very hard to do with more weight): Get in one arm bent over row postion and with arm locked and hanging down and thumbs up, let the scapular protract fully then retract using my back muscles. Holding the retaction, slowly raise the weight up until the locked arm is parallel to the floor, pause, and slowly lower back down while attempting to keep the scapula retacted.

Does this make any sense? Is this safe and functional? Is there an exercise that doe the same thing but more effectively?

For what it is worth, after doing this exercise my shoulder blades seemsed to sit more naturally on my back, the tension in my upper traps disappeared and the nagging tennis elbow-like pain in my left arm also seemed to go away.

I have been struggling with that elbow for quite some time and also get soeme funky stuff going on in my pinky fingers to accompany it; this makes me think it has to with an ulnar nerve compression somewhere along the line and, after doing the exercise, i think it is origanating up near the clavicle wher the scapula is tipping up and over creating compression in that region. Thanks for the view and any thoughts are appreciated.

Hartman’s & Robertson’s Pushups,Facepulls & Shrugs addresses the mechanics of the Scapula very well.
Dr. Tim

Don’t see any pictures in your profile. Post them up so we can see what you’re talking about.

[quote]drtim wrote:
Hartman’s & Robertson’s Pushups,Facepulls & Shrugs addresses the mechanics of the Scapula very well.
Dr. Tim[/quote]

Yes, i have read ii and it has been very hepful. However, it does not seem to touch on scapular tipping or corrective work too much. The exercises listed seem to deal more with fron to back and side to side problems rather than a rotational issue, ie tipping.

What you were describing with the salad dressing bottle sounds similar to what I think are called Maxwell drills.

They can be done holding weight or just empty handed, face down on a bench, palms prone, arms out at various angles.

Also for scapular stability, I like to do deltoid raises with little or no weight, and a concentrated effort at keeping the scapulae depressed, back straight, head up.

All done in the 20 rep range at moderate to low speed.

You may also do well to detrain the pects and front delts while working on the flexability/muscle length of those groups.

For the spine, I do static holds, five seconds, laying on the floor and pushing my head back as if to arch, but not pushing to a full arch.

Actualy, for a good demo of these, you should spend a few sessions with a physical therapist who is versed in corrective exercises for weight training.

Good Luck.

If you are going to take a picture make sure you are square to te camera,aimed at your center-midline.
So, center of hip for lateral and belly button for front view and in line with your crack for rear view.

Actually, when i mentioned “look at my profile”, i meant if i was viewed from the side. I will take some pictures and post this weekend and see what you all think. Thanks again.

i updated my profile with some pics. Though they are not perfectly square,i hope they help. I have some crazy curves going on in my back and it looks like my erectors are non-exsitant; not sure what to do.

[quote]cskolnick wrote:
drtim wrote:
Hartman’s & Robertson’s Pushups,Facepulls & Shrugs addresses the mechanics of the Scapula very well.
Dr. Tim

Yes, i have read ii and it has been very hepful. However, it does not seem to touch on scapular tipping or corrective work too much. The exercises listed seem
to deal more with fron to back and side to side problems rather than a rotational issue, ie tipping.

[/quote]

It sounds like you’re doing something similar to a ‘prone trap raise’ which is basically the muscle test for the lower trapezius fibres.
This is a good exercise for what seems to ail you, however, poor rotator cuff and lower trapezius control can interfere with its effectiveness.

Try the face pulls as recommended if you have the facilities available - they do pretty much the same thing and are easier to perform properly without a professional present.