Calling all overhead athletes...this post is for you! We here at BRPT-Lake treat many overhead athletes and have developed a series of scapular strengthening exercises to help rehabilitate shoulder pain and prevent the onset of shoulder issues. Scapular stabilizer strength is so important, because the scapula is the base on which your humerus (arm) moves. Therefore if the muscles controlling the scapula are weak, you won’t have as strong or accurate an arm movement (i.e., swing, spike, etc.).
The six exercises that compose the scapular six are listed below:
- Standing 90s: Standing with your arms straight out in front of you at a 90 degree angle, bring your hands away from your midline while keeping your arms straight. While doing this squeeze your shoulder blades together while relaxing your shoulders.
- Standing 120s: Beginning in the same position as standing 90s, instead of bring your arms back and keeping them at a 90 deg angle, you will bring your arms up into a V position keeping your palms facing forward.
- Standing shoulder extension: Standing with your arms at a 90 degree angle, palms up and elbows extended, bring your arms down to your sides while squeezing the shoulders blades back and down.
- High row: Beginning with arms straight out in front of you at a 90 degree angle, bring your elbows toward the back of the room behind while bending the elbows. Keep the shoulder angle at 90 degrees and let shoulders relax down.
- High row with external rotation: The same exercise as the one before, but this time when you get to your ending position, you are going to keep your shoulders and elbow in the same position, and lift your forearms up 90 degrees to where your forearms are perpendicular to the floor
- High row with external rotation and press: Adding on to the previous two exercises, you will do the same and when you are in the 90/90 external rotation position, you are going to press your arms overhead, and then return to the starting position.