Flaring Shoulder Blades

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    Flaring Shoulder Blades


    Firstly, I'm not sure if I have this in the right place, if not feel free to move it.

    So today I was going through some of pictures and I seen some before and afters I took a couple years ago. I noticed my back then compare to my back now seems a bit different. I came to the conclusion that my shoulder blades have started to flare. It seems like more of a common disorder than I originally thought. I'm not sure what brought this on but it's not cool.

    This problem has really started to bother me. With my shoulder blades flaring the way they are it almost gives my back a bony look to it......not cool at all.

    So I was wondering if any of you guys have some suggestions to help fix this problem. Also, could this turn into a serious problem that would need to be fixed by say a chiropractor or something?

    Just for a little history that may play into the problem, I was a baseball pitcher through 4 years of high school and then pitched 2 years during college ball. Ever since my senior year in high school my right shoulder has sagged/hung/slouched a bit lower than my left, it even appears that my right trap is a bit smaller when you really look at it. The reason I tell you this is maybe this would play some part in the flaring shoulder blades.

    Help me out fellas before I turn into a freak show and have to join the circus.

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    Do you mean sticking straight out or moving out towards the side of your body? When I tuck my shoulder blades in they poke out, but when you say flair I think of doing a lat pose.

    Either way I would see a physio about it as it is a posture issue, maybe not a problem if you don't have any shoulder problems, but worth trying to correct.
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    see a physical therapist and he/she will show you what to add to your routine in 1 or 2 sessions probably

    it's no big deal

    -1 arm dumbell presses with a "punch" at the end
    -usually accompanied by a rotator cuff routine in multiple planes
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    I have this exact same problem that I'm working out right now. My scapula used to wingout pretty severly, which I believe was due to some damage inflicted on my trap. At first my physical therapist thought I had an impinged long thoratic nerve, but after an MRI and another test to monitor any nerve firing problems (can't remember the name), it turned out all I had was a muscular imbalance; my doctor said this was caused (supposedly) by too many pushing exercises and not enough pulling.

    I'm convinced that the trauma to my trapezius is what led to the muscular imbalance though, as I was unable to fully use my trap for several weeks.

    Although the doctor wrote some suggestions to my physical therapist, I've haven't been back to the PT due to lack of funds (and probably stupidity), but I have added more back exercises, such as light bent over barbell rows, one armed cable rows, etc. After about a 1 to 1.5 months the winging has gone down, my affected trap is seeing good hypertrophy, my range of motion is greatly improved, and my proportion is coming back.

    My chest-to-upper back exercise ratio used to be 1-1. Now it's in the range of 1 to 2.5-3, and I'm noticing superb improvement.

    But yeah, don't listen to me, go see a physical therapist and get some professional advice; this should be able to be sorted out easily, albiet the process of getting everything in perfect order can take awhile. Good luck, I know how that **** can be painful and annoying.

    EDIT: Might want to take a look at this too: Winged scapula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia It's just wikipedia but it sounds exactly like your problem, and might give you some ideas as to what you are dealing with.
    Last edited by illfoo; 04-10-2008 at 09:03 PM. Reason: forgot something
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    Actually, that wikipedia link is pretty accurate.

    The "punch" exercise that I mentioned before is for the serratus btw. It's a tough one to really feel so it's good to have someone who knows what they're doing coach you through it properly.

    illfoo, your 2.5-3:1 ratio is good.

    Some tips to have balanced scapular musculature:

    Back angles:
    -elbow up (wide overhand grip) or the elbows down (triangle cabe grip or underhand rows).

    Lat angles: Elbows out (WG) vs elbows in (trianlge or reverse grip)

    BO Reverse flies:
    -thumbs up = middle trap
    -thumbs forward (neutral) = rhomboids
    -*thumbs up but arms go forward (as if you're making a "Y" signal like in YMCA) = lower traps
    -thumbs down is typically for posterior delts

    Shrugs:
    shrugs can be done in multiple planes but I'm not sure it would be of particular benefit in terms of scapular stabilization
    -traditional seated (upright)
    -incline (forward line of pull with your arms hanging behind you) *this is the same angle as behind the back shrugs
    -reverse inlcine (backward line of pull) *same as cable shrugs to the front
    -there is a slight difference in line of pull with DB vs. BB but that moreso due to the grip altering shoulder rotation
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    Yep, the punch exercise was one of the first things they had me do when I went to physical therapy; it can feel freakin' weird when your scapula wants to flair way out there.

    And I have incorporated shrugs into my workouts after not doing them a lot, mainly to target my severly atrophied right trap. Like celc pointed out, it probably won't be extremely beneficial to scapular stabalization, but man I sure looked funny with one fairly defined trap coupled with a nonexistant one.

    That's a great post too celc, thanks for that.
  

  
 

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