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Scapulae and Shoulders?


I have winging of my scapulae, and rounded shoulders (they're rotated more forward than they should be, allowing me to see more of my upper back from a side view than is normal). Are there simple exercises to help strengthen and correct these postural issues caused by muscular imbalance? I know serratus anterior weakness is the main culprit for winging, but what about the rounding? I don't have access to weights, so bodyweight and theraband exercises will have to suffice. Thanks!


Dunno about anterior serratus, I view it as an imblance caused by overly strong/tight front muscles such as pecs etc. I get my guys to do lots of chest stretching, and if you only have bodyweight exercises then pull ups and chin ups are the go. Basically anything with a pulling movement as your pushing muscles are too strong.

I would quit doing push ups for a while until the imbalance has been corrected.

As well, just pull your shoulders back. Stand like a superhero, chest out, shoulders back, crunched abs and there should be no winging.


pushups i think would be ok, because the antagonists work when you do a pushup, whereas with bench the antognists dont work. search for neanderthal no more and you will find the answer


Here is a link to part 4 of some threads about correcting posture you can check out. I have posted the link to part 4 because you can access parts 1,2 and 3 from it.

Hope it helps



Yeah, neanderthal no more is great. I have the same problem and I use this exercise most nights:

Scap Pushups

This exercise is also known as a "Pushup Plus." Basically, it's a pushup without any movement at the glenohumeral or elbow joints. Get set up as if you were going to do a pushup, and then just allow your shoulder blades to retract without bending your elbows. You should drop about two inches toward the floor.

To reverse the motion, protract the scapulae until you're back in the starting position. This exercise activates and strengthens the serratus anterior, a muscle that is crucial in holding the scapulae tight to the rib cage, thus preventing scapular winging.


I went to the biokineticist yesterday in fact for this. I have had problems with winging for a long time, but treament was delayed for way too long due to a) impingements syndrome in the left shoulder followed by b) clavicle osteolysis in the right shoulder. I got surgery for the latter about 3 months ago. Now it is time to properly come back and taking care of the winging is a major part of it. I will try scan in all the exercises and stretches I got and send it. I have exercises I need to do 3x/week at the gym and stretches/band work I need to do daily at home.



Eric Cressey has a fantastic 2 part series on shoulder problems that will posted soon.


First of all. Good for you for posting this topic. Many will neglect to educate them on this & few will take it serious enough to the point that they actually do something about it long enough to make a life long differance.

That being said...

I would recomend reading as many articles from Ian King as possible. He discusses many topics on the importance of scaupla retraction.

I highly recomend Ian Kings control drills, injury prevention, and many other videos.... PM me for me info if youd like.

Good luck

POSTURE IS KEY. In and out of the gym!!!!


Another poster replyed saying that pullups are good for this because you're "pulling".

However, I beleive that the lats and teres major both insert on the anterior side of the humerous. So, in effect, they internally rotate your arms just like benching does. Rowing however, does not.

Also, I picked up a foam roller of the web. I allign it with my spine so that my arms and chest can get a good deep stretch. I have a partner then push down on my palms and/or shoulders to really stretch that shit out!


Thanks all for some great info!

xenithon: I'd be really interested in learning about your prescribed exercises to correct the winging. If you had a chance could you post 'em up?

It's odd, but I can't positively identify a particular activity or time period really in which I developed the winging and rounding shoulders. It makes sense though when viewed as a condition that progressively worsens over time. I surf a lot, and think that this may be one of the culprits. Does anyone know how the biomechanics of surfing, paddling specifically, might possibly lead to winging? My weight training has undoubtedly exacerbated the problem, although I didn't emphasize chest at the expense of back exercises. Right now I'm dying to start training again, but I want to get my posture issues sorted before beginning again as I'm afraid I'll just worsen my condition and imbalances.


Umm, I don't get this. If you're not contracting your antagonists on the eccentric of a bench you're doing it wrong.


Check out today's new article.


For God's sake don't fucking do chins to correct winging...that's how I got winging in the first place: too much lat/teres work combined with no external rotator work and a lack of flexibility work.

Get a foam roller and put some pressure on those suckers then stretch them out. Side-lying stretch, knife hand stretch, doorway pec stretches and thoracic extensions are some of the best. I find it's a lot easier to start doing your external rotator work once you've actually got some flexibility in the internal rotators. And as far as that stuff well there's tons of articles on the subject. Good luck.


not everybody benches that way, you know. there is no absolute 'right way' to bench. although i do a powerlifitn style bench myself, with my elbows in tight and a lot of leg drive and lat activation, many friends of mine do flat back traditional 'bodybuilding' style bench. and that's fine if that's what they want.


Paddling for surfing would be similar to swimming (and excessive benching) and would use the internal rotators a lot. As for any swimmer, you should balance this out with horizontal rowing, external rotations and scapular work.


Sorry about that - been bogged down in work. Will try scan the pages this weekend and post them up. Maybe PM me your email addy and I will send them through as I don't have a place to host them.