Stabilizing scapulae on the rib cage is as important
as contracting the abdominal muscles during the
initiation of every exercise. When stability is absent,
there is a tendency to overwork muscles around
the neck and shoulders.
Be aware of scapular stabilization at all times,
whether there is movement of the arms and spine
or not. Since they lack a direct bony attachment
to the rib cage and spine, the scapulae have a
great deal of mobility. In making a greater range
of motion available to the arms, the scapulae can
glide upward, downward, inward and outward,
and can also rotate upward or downward.
Through the whole shoulder girdle, a sense of
stability, not rigidity, should always be maintained.
A sense of width should be maintained across
the front and back of the shoulder girdle.
The shoulders should not be allowed to overly
round forward or squeeze completely together.
The scapulae should lie flat on the rib cage and
glide across it without coming away from it.
Keep in mind that the scapulae will react to
movements of the arms and thoracic spine.
For example, the scapulae will naturally elevate
during overhead arm movements and protract
during thoracic flexion.
Be aware that an individual’s neutral placement
of the scapulae may be slightly different from
their natural resting position. An ideal working
alignment must be established for each individual.
Experimenting with scapular move and stabilization
Start supine, with pelvis and spine neutral.
Knees flexed, feet abducted hip-distance apart
on the Mat. Arms long by sides, palms down.
Scapul Isolations (Elevation, supine)
|Inhale ||Elevate scapulae, lifting shoulders
toward ears. |
|Exhale ||Return scapulae to neutral, sliding
down away from ears (avoid rounding
shoulders forward as they slide down). |
Scapul Isolations (Depression, supine)
| Inhale ||Depress scapulae, drawing shoulders
away from ears. |
Exhale Return scapulae to neutral.
Scapul Isolations (Protraction, seated or supine)
|Inhale ||Protract scapulae, widening between
shoulder blades. |
|Exhale ||Bring scapulae back to neutral, with
feeling of opening collarbone. |
Scapul Isolations (Retraction, seated or supine)
|Inhale ||Retract scapulae, bringing shoulder blades
closer together. |
|Exhale ||Return scapulae to neutral. |