Fix Winged Scapula: Strengthen Your Serratus Anterior | Part 2

Shoulder Winging | Toronto Downtown Chiropractor Dr Ken Nakamura | Best Toronto Chiropractor

Previously in the article How to Fix Your Winging Scapula you learned how to stretch the muscles that are bringing your shoulder into forward rotation (internal rotation). A forward-rotated shoulder causes a muscle imbalance with the serratus anterior.  You need to strengthen the serratus anterior muscle to help your winging shoulder blade. This article teaches you how to strengthen the serratus anterior by video and pictures. Below is an image of the serratus anterior.

Six Exercises For Your Scapula Winging

#1 Scapula Wall Slides For Your Winged Scapula

  1. Elbow bent against the wall. Protract the shoulder by pushing the elbow against the wall then sliding the arms up to the level of your head, then back down. Maintain the elbow drive into the wall.
  2. Then do the same thing at a 45-degree angle. The shoulder blade needs to be stabilized in all directions.
  3. Do the exercise in 3 sets of 20 making sure you have great form.

Alleviate Upper Back Pain: Uncover the Top 3 Effective Exercises

#2 Push-Up Plus For Your Winged Scapula

  1. Get into a push-up position
  2. Keeping your elbow straight let your body move down letting your shoulder blades come together.
  3. Bring your body up again making sure your spine doesn’t sag while keeping the elbow straight. The elbow is always straight throughout the exercise.

To make this easier,  get into an “easy” push-up position by kneeling and do the exact same thing. If you want to progress beyond the above video then you do any of these exercises with one hand.

#3 Band Pull-Apart For Your Scapula Winging

We are doing a modified band pull apart. You wouldn’t be able to see the difference in a video so I will explain.

  1. Protract your shoulder. Protraction means to bring your shoulder forward like the “Scapula Wall Slides”
  2. While the shoulder is protracted pull the bands apart until your arms are out by your side.
  3. Maintain the protraction the whole time.

4 Key Exercises To Help Rounded Shoulder Posture

Don’t work on the rhomboid by pinching the shoulder blades together. You want to work on the serratus anterior for the winging shoulder blade.

#4 Open Serratus Anterior Slides For Your Winged Scapula

  1. Wrap a Theraband or rubber band around your body and around your hands like the video above.
  2. Protract your shoulder.
  3. Bring your arm up.
  4. You should still be going slowly up and down to get the concentric and eccentric strengthening effect.

#5 Serratus Dip For Your Winged Scapula

  1. Lift yourself onto a dip machine, holding the handles with arms fully extended. Support your body weight with your shoulders and arms.
  2. Leans forward from a dip then protract the shoulders.
  3. Slowly lower your body allowing the shoulders to elevate toward your ears. Be sure to maintain straight arms, controlling the shrugging motion throughout the entire range of motion.
  4. Reverse the motion by pushing down through the arms pushing your shoulders away from your ears elevating your body back to the starting position.

#6 Kettle Bell Overhead Press For Your Winging Scapula

One of the jobs of the serratus anterior is to stabilize your shoulder while holding a weight above the head. Use a kettlebell rather than a dumbbell as it challenges the stability of your shoulder. To make this exercise harder you can hold the kettlebell from the bottom instead of the top. The advanced form of this exercise is to walk with the weight above your head for 10-15 seconds.

  1. Kneeling or standing. One arm is straight against the wall with a fist. One arm overhead with a weight in the other arm
  2. Go slowly up and slowly down.
  3. Do 3 sets of 12

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Dr. Ken is an award-winning chiropractor in downtown Toronto, serving a diverse clientele. He is an avid athlete, representing Ontario in the Canadian Judo Championships, and has completed the Toronto Marathon twice. Dr. Ken specializes in in treating his patients using the C3 Program.