Shoulder Rehab – Part 1
The shoulder joint may very well be the most complex joint in the body. We have 17 muscles that attach to the scapulae, all these muscles have an origin and an insertion. When a clients goal is to avoid shoulder surgery, or further the rehab process after surgery, my first objective is to strengthen the scapula retractors.
99% of the individuals I assess with shoulder discomfort possess similar issues. Most are fighting upper body cross syndrome from living in a modern day “flexion society”. Upper body cross syndrome has overactive SCM and Pectoralis muscles, while also having overactive Upper Traps and Levators. Conversely, the Deep Cervical Neck Flexors along with the Lower Trap and Serratus Anterior are weak and inhibited. Various chest plus upper trap stretches and self myofascia release techniques are suggested alongside strengthening the scapulae retractors, external rotators and deep cervical neck flexors.
The video link below shows a progression of exercises on how to train the scapulae retractors. Each exercise should be completed in 6 separate workouts before progressing to the next exercise. Start with the exercises facing a high pulley and progress to using a heavy DB after the pulley exercises have all been completed. Positioning the pulley (high, medium, or low) and having a different body orientation (facing pulley, or sideways to the pulley) will allow for 6 different exercises. Progression, frequency, reps and sets will have to be customized to your individual needs.