T Nation

Scapula Winging? How Do I Fix It?


Title says it all, here's a picture:




Scap pushups are probably where you need to start.


I just did those earlier today, I plan on doing them every day. Anything else?


My shouder blades used to be like that. I cut out bench pressing and done a shit load of pushups. (Adding the extra scapula protraction at the top) - How pushups should be done.

look up push ups, face pulls and shrugs. That will set you on the right path better than I can.

As a side note. Personally - I swear by strict overhead pressing ( not going heavy, but moderate weight and doing about 10 - 15 reps with perfect technique since I started doing them my shoulder have felt amazingly healthy. but thats just my perosnal experience and I'm wierd so don't take my experience as reliable advice.


From an article by Don Alessi:

Here?s a routine to correct scapular winging:

Push press, barbell: The push press is a shoulder press that utilizes the entire body. Start by standing, with a shoulder-width grip and the barbell resting on anterior delts. Squat one-fourth of the way down to initiate the momentum. Next, press the bar straight over the head to a soft lockout while exploding up on to the toes. Finish by lowering the weight to your shoulders.

L-lateral raise, dumbbell: Same as a traditional lateral raise, except the elbows are bent at 90 degrees during the lift. Additionally, there?s an external rotation motion of the lower arm that follows the 90- degree abduction. In other words, as you complete the "lateral raise" portion of the movement, rotate the lower arm up and outward (while maintaining the 90-degree angle throughout the exercise and keeping the wrists neutral).

Incline front raise, dumbbell, semi-supinated: This is pretty much the same as a conventional front raise, except that you?ll use a semi-supinated grip and you?ll be doing the front raises at an angle. Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other. Lie on an incline bench set to 45 degrees. With the elbows slightly bent, raise the dumbbells from the bottom position (at your side) to a perpendicular angle to the bench. Lower the weight under control to a dead stop before proceeding.

If indeed you do have scapular winging, you need to do the following routine 2 times a week for 4 weeks. It should also replace your current back routine:

Exercise Sets Reps Rep Speed Rest Interval
A. Push press* 5 3-5 30X 180 sec.
B1** L-lateral raise 3 10-12 501 0 sec.
B2 Incline front raise,DB 3 10-12 501 60 sec.
* Stretch the traps and neck in between sets.

**B1 and B2 means to do the L-lateral raises, and then, without resting, proceed to the incline front raises. You?d do that 3 times.

here is the article link:


I've read that article, thank you though! I also strict over head press once a week, I'm starting to do pushups with the extra scapula protraction at the top every day. Another thing I really think would help, correct me anyone if I'm wrong, but handing on a pullup bar, and pushing my chest up and then relaxing, and doing that for sets of like 15 reps or something


No problem mate :slight_smile:

I honestly don't know what doing that that would do for you. would probably give you a well nice stretch. But have you tried hanging shrugs? Hang from a pullup bar and shrug in the opposite direction you would do for a normal barbell shrug.
Also, T-spine mobility would probably help you if your not doing it


Thats actually what i meant by raising mychest, my bad! I meant that shrugging stuff.
What Tspine mobility stuff would be good for me to do?


Haha I had an inkling that's what you meant.

What you have to bear in mind is, I'm not a professional, and im only giving information on what worked for me.
I did t spine extensions on a foam roller, and t spine rotational drills. You'll find a heap of it on Eric cresseys blog and articles. ( look up yoga pushups on his blog aswell, gives the benefits of pushups and t spine mobility! )


Also hanging from a pull up bar, taking a deep breath then relaxing and focus on exhaling and letting all the air out of your body.

This stretches my pecs and Lats something crazy!


Haha, I already do that T-Spine mobility stuff with my foamroller. :slight_smile:
And I think ill start doing those stretches as well


Do you do a lot of pull up stuff already?

Sometimes the scap can appear to be winged but it might just be the result of a big subscapularis (muscle under the scapula) giving that illusion.

If it is winged though, the upward rotators of the scapula are weak. The downward rotators are too strong. The last thing you want to do is extra work for the downward rotators, which is what pull ups of that nature do.

Check this out for more info: This is something I wrote up on a client who had a winging scap. There is a before and after video. http://b-reddy.org/2011/06/02/example-of-impaired-movement-causing-pain/

Hope this helps.