What exercises help correct abducted or adducted shoulder blades (scapula)?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
The trapezius strengthening exercise -- which strengthens key muscles controlling scapular elevation and rotation responsible for normal movement -- is helpful to correct an abducted scapula (shoulder blades that rest too far from the spine). Also, when performing arm slides (teaches proper overhead shoulder mechanics and strengthens key scapular muscles) or the all-fours rocking stretch (passively restores normal mechanics of the shoulder, neck, and arms), squeeze your shoulder blades together to begin in a corrected position three inches from the spine.

Correcting an adducted scapula (blades that rest too close to the spine) is simple -- just relax the shoulder blade so it slides out to the ideal three-inch position.
Fixing You: Neck Pain & Headaches: Self-Treatment for healing Neck pain and headaches due to Bulging Disks, Degenerative Disks, and other diagnoses.

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Fixing You: Neck Pain & Headaches: Self-Treatment for healing Neck pain and headaches due to Bulging Disks, Degenerative Disks, and other diagnoses.

There are two major muscles connecting the shoulder blade to the head and neck. Because the shoulder system isn't working well, continual stress is placed on the head and neck creating...
A great exercise that engages the scapular stabilizers is the stability ball cobra. This exercise forces you to pull your scapulae into proper position. The muscles involved in this include the rhomboids and middle/lower trapezius. To perform the stability ball cobra lay prone on a stability ball with your hands in front of you. Your body should be rigid with your core and glutes engaged. Slowly bring your hands to your sides, pointing your thumps up. While performing the movement, squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades. Once your hands reach your sides, hold this position for 1-2 seconds, and then return to your starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.