Scapulas, better known as shoulder blades, are body parts that we often don’t care much about. You may remember when you were young and your mum was telling you to stand straight and keep a good posture. You lifted your chest up, chin up, and moved the shoulders back. To do so, you squeezed your scapulas together.
Ever since, the muscles in that area have been drastically underused. With all the daily sitting, leaning forward, and hunching the back, these muscles get weak. We pretty much lose control of the shoulder blades.
If the muscles are weak or if you are not used to engaging them, sooner or later you may strain your shoulders.
The scapula plays an important roll in the shoulder health. It is heavily involved in the shoulder movement. The scapula is hanging between the upper arm and clavicle and is not directly attached to the torso.
Instability of the scapula can cause major shoulder issues. It is important to make sure that the scapula moves within the joint in the full and proper range of motion.
Many important muscles connect to scapula: deltoid, trapezius, biceps, pectoralis minor, serratus, rhomboids, and rotator cuff. To ensure proper shoudler stability, you need to work the shoulder in many ways.
The standard pushing exercises (bench press or push-up) won’t do the job. Proper scapular stability needs more than that. You have to do different pulling, pushing and rotational movements. Above all, you need to work the scapular retraction, protraction, elevation and depression.
Besides the strength work, you need to stretch the muscles around the joint. To ensure proper mobility, you need to create a full flexion and full extension.
If your shoulders are weak and you cannot control them fully, be aware of your limitations.
Make improving your shoulder strength and scapular control your number one priority. You will have healthy shoulders for the rest of your life. It takes lots of work to keep the shoulders healthy, but it is a rewarding experience.