Fitness Fix: Weak, Unstable Shoulder Blades

By Andrew Heffernan |

Got a rounded upper back, hunched shoulders, or any kind of pain in the shoulder? There’s a good chance your shoulder blades — or scapulae — need some attention.

The scapulae are a pair of triangular bones that slide along your upper back as you reach, stretch, pull, and push with your arms. They allow your arms to move smoothly and comfortably in virtually any direction.

“Scapular movement directly influences shoulder health, strength, performance, and posture,” says Jordan Syatt, a Westside Barbell–certified strength coach and five-time world-record-holding powerlifter.

To support your scaps, Syatt suggests, incorporate the following movements into your routine up to six days a week. They’ll help balance out your existing training regimen and improve stability and mobility in the joints.

Seated Scapular Wall Slides

  1. Do 10 to 12 slow repetitions.

Scapular Pushups

  1. Do 10 to 12 slow repetitions.

Scapular Pull-Ups

  1. Slowly reverse the movement and repeat for 10 to 12 slow repetitions.

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