How to Maintain Shoulder Mobility and Scapular Stability


“The tricky thing about maintaining good shoulder function is that it doesn’t just require strong deltoids or big traps. Those are important for moving big weight and being strong enough to handle anything life throws at you, but real shoulder function – pain-free, unimpeded shoulder function – depends on certain supporting muscles and joints of which most people are simply unaware. I mean, did you realize just how integral the scapular are? And because the shoulders’ function seems relatively straightforward and because we can work out for years without lending serious thought to how our joints move and work, now’s the time to start thinking about proper joint function before it’s too late.


What I’m trying to say is this: you may be neglecting your shoulders and putting them at risk, even if you focus on only the classic multi-joint, compound exercises, like overhead presses and pull-ups, and even if you’re using good form. It’s difficult to admit this to ourselves, but doing the right things the right way may not be enough if we’ve lived regular lives hunched over keyboards, sitting in chairs, wearing shoes, and emulating incorrect posture (masquerading as good posture). Modern nutrition and fitness advice, coupled with the mundane realities of everyday life (chairs, shoes, eight hour workdays, etc) (unwittingly) has the effect of undoing millions of years of evolutionary pressures. It’s true that we’re born with predispositions – toward certain foods, movement patterns, joint articulations – but a few dozen years of doing precisely the opposite sets us on a different path. Deviating from that path is difficult, but it must be done. Continued…