T Nation

Scapula Issue


I've had shoulder issues for a while now, and I'm 100% sure its because of my left scapula. The left side scapula (my problem side) rests higher and doesn't seem to be retracted as much relative to the right side when at rest. Also the left side trap appears longer/bigger than the right side when at rest. Can anyone suggest how to fix this imbalance? What exercises should I do, and what muscles I should be strengthening?

I'll try to get a pic, but my phone camera blows and has trouble with lighting.


Strengthen your serratus, and your mid/lower traps on both sides. That should help keep both of your scapula tight against your ribcage and fix the imbalances.

Exercises to consider (Thanks to Robertson, Cressey and Hartman's Assess and Correct manual)

Forearm wall slides
"No Money" drill
Scapular wall slides
"Y" raise on incline bench

Check your thoracic mobility as well, make sure that isn't what is causing your shoulder problems.


the suggestions above may work, but when i'm working with athletes it's pretty clear it's not sufficient to prescribe a suite of motions until the athlete's been checked.

In your case it may be that the lower trap isn't firing well, and even if you do those exercises, you'll still only be partially engaging that muscle.

It may be that you always carry your bag on that side so you've conditioned yourself to hike up your shoulder.

it may be that the movement in your opposite side hip is jacked a bit and you're carrying the compensation in your shoulder. so mobility work may be the best course.

In other words the site of the issue mayn't be the whole issue, and without addressing the whole issue the speed of resolution can get slowed down.

That means, if you're keen to get this addressed quickly and effectively, see a movement specialist who can do an assessment and help you regain your body.