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Exercise to Mobilize Shoulder and Scapula

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Here is Friday Fast Fitness - an easy way to learn and feel how to use the often forgotten serratus anterior muscles, for better shoulder mobilization, first introduced in December:

  1. On any surface you are comfortable, go to hands and knees. Keep your arms straight at the elbow. Let your upper body sink under your weight so that your shoulder blades roll back and come towards each other. Your shoulder blades may stick out like wings, photo 1 to the right.

  2. Correct that problem by pulling your upper back to a straighter position, photo 2 to the right.


  3. Alternately sink and pull upward to correct the winging. Improve by increasing the number and speed you can correct. Use the hands-and-knees position to get the idea. As soon as you have the concept of how to move, use the full pushup position, called plank, to get off your knees and get real exercise.

The standing version of this drill is in my book Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery. Thank you to Dr. Johannes Ernst, who wrote in about using hands and knees to get started:

"I should mention I'm actually doing a variation of the scapular mobilization exercise which I have found to be more effective for me: basically like a push-up, but propped up on knees and elbows. That way I can extend the amplitude of the back and forth movement further than if standing up. That additional stretch does seem to make a difference, and it seems to work some muscles as I can do only about 30 or so before I run out of steam."

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Tags: Balance and Proprioception , Fast Fitness!

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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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