T Nation

Shoulder Blade Muscles

Need help building the group between the blades. Physical Therapist identified the problem, but his solution will take until I am 90 (I’ve been working it for three years with little improvement). Wondering what all of your thoughts are on the group.

I lie face down on a bench that is slightly inclined - grab a couple DB’s and point my elbows out at 90 degrees to my body. Then just “row” your shoulder blades as close together as possible.

BTW, check out Eric Cressey’s 10 Rules of Corrective Lifting:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1465613

Be sure to follow the links in the replies too. You’ll find tons of info about the shoulders.


im no excpert, but i’d think that performing excercises like Incline shrugs, DB/BB rowing, push-ups w/ an extra push at the end(to train the serratus anterior), seated rows, sternum pull-ups, etc. would help to strengthen the entire back. My chiropractor said i had weak mid-back muscles as well and told me to do alot of back work to help fix the problem. Also, using a foam roller or tennis ball to massage knots in yoour mid-back are amazing. Hope this helps.

I wouldn’t apply a tennisball to the back. Chances are it hits the spine and you wouldn’t want that.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
I wouldn’t apply a tennisball to the back. Chances are it hits the spine and you wouldn’t want that.[/quote]

Actually, I use a hard rubber ball. Tennis balls are to0 weak to get the knots I’ve got in the Rhomboids/Traps.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
I wouldn’t apply a tennisball to the back. Chances are it hits the spine and you wouldn’t want that.[/quote]

You’re going to know if it hits your spine…I roll a tennis ball on my back and it has helped a lot.

On back exercises focus on really squeezing your shoulder blades back.

Two exercises that are my favorite:

  1. Scapular Wall Slides
  2. Cable Rows with neutral grip

Thanks everyone,
What are those two excerses? They soind good, but how do I do them.

Look at #8 for the proper cable row, reading that whole article will help you out as well:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1053531

Scapular Wall Slides:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459846

A good trick to focus on those muscles is to ensure scapular retraction during the lift. This is not arching the back. Pretend someone is poking their finger right between your shoulder blades. Now try to crush that finger. This is the position to maintain throughout most mid back exercises. It’s OK to let the weight stretch you forward on the eccentric (don’t let your lower back round). But during the initial pull on the concentric, squeeze those blades back together.

Another trick: Imagine your forearms are ropes and focus on where your elbows are going, not your hands. This helps take the biceps out of the equation.

Good luck on this. I’ve had my fair share of joint problems due to muscular imbalances. These days I pull as much or more than I push and I remain healthy (knock on wood).

Reverse shrugs done from parallel dip bars might help with scapular health.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1426252