T Nation

Scapular Winging


#1

I've got some scapular winging going on. Aside from regular rows, are there any exercises that will target this condition directly?
Thanks.


#2

Were you diagnosed with this condition by a doctor or is it from your own diagnosis? If it was diagnosed by a doctor what did he/she say was the cause/disorder you have?


#3

What exactly is scapular winging?


#4

Yea, Alessi talked about it one time, but I didn't understand what he meant.


#5

Some people call it having "chicken wings". Its when someone is standing with their arms at the side and you can see their scapula very distinctly. It protrudes out from the body.


#6

Scapula winging is the basically the inability to "fix" your scapula against your rib cage, so when seen from the rear the shoulder blades stick out like two mini dorsal fins. Very common in young people who slouch! The result is an unstable and therefore weak shoulder girdle.

To correct it you need to work on the strength and endurance of your rhomboids, mid traps and to a lesser degree your post. delts.

To achieve this, rows to chest (same line of direction as you would use in the bench press - only reversed), as well as reverse flyes (cable or dumbell), 30 degree bench 45 degree arm width mid trap raises (someone please think of a better name for this great exercise than this) and shrugging type movements which draw your shoulder blades together (retraction)

Also, you need to strengthen your serratus anterior (which run over your outer mid rib cage) and this can be done by adopting a plank on elbows type postion and protracting your shoulder girdle whilst keeping your scapulae flat to your rips. If you see any tell tale dorsal fins, you ain't got it right!

Hope that helps.


#7

Correcting scapular winging usually involves rotator cuff exercises, other poterior shoulder exercises - rear delts, rhomboids.
The Serratus holds the scapula to the ribs. It is not a 'visual' muscle but it can take some serious weight and can be developed easily.
supine shrugs target the serratus directly.
Lie on a bench as if bench pressing. Rack the weights at near lock-out level height.Flatten both scapulae against the bench. Unrack the bar but do not bend the elbows. shrug the weight towards the ceiling. It will only move a few inches as the shoulder complex moves up off the bench and the scapulae slide 'forward' along the ribs.
Do sets of 10 and work up to bench press 1RM + 10%-20%. the workload and range of motion are similar to a standing shrug but the range of motion changes from up-down to forward-back.


#8

Patch, Excellent post.

Alessi calls them Lower trap raises. He describes them in his Weakest Link article.


#9

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you guys.
I had been having shoulder problems for a long time and went to the orthopedist. He diagnosed me with tendonitis of the rotator. I had some ART for about 6 months and it didn't get any better. I lived with it for another six months and went back to the orthopedist. I got a different doc this time. We did more x-rays and a MRI this time, and he said my rotator looks great. He checked me out really well and said that my chest is overdeveloped compared to my back (which did not surprise me, because if there is one thing that I hate it's back work) and that I had scapular dysfunction. I asked if that's the same thing as winging and he said yes.
I received a RX for physical therapy, but after going for 3 weeks, I had to move out of state for work. The physical therapy RX will not transfer, so I'll have to see another doctor here to go back to therapy. Due to the move and the shoulder pain, I haven't been to the gym in about 6 months, but I'll be going back this week.
You can bet your ass that I won't be doing any serious chest work until I get my back up to speed.
Thanks for the responses.