Shoulder blades “down and back”?!

“Shoulders down and back”

This cueing needs to STOP when we are talking about loaded overhead movements. 

Yes you need to engage in all your overhead movements ✔️ . 

Yes you should NOT just hang there ✔️ . 

But do you need to pull your shoulder blades down and back and together when your arms are elevated all the way overhead? 


“Stability” of the shoulder in these movements is complex however, you could be doing more harm than good by pulling your shoulder blades together when your arm is loaded overhead. 

When you elevate your arms overhead, your arms move through approx 180 degrees.  Not all of this should come from your glenohumeral joint (your “shoulder”). But rather in an approximate 1:2 ratio with your scapulothoracic joint (shoulder blade on your back) and your glenohumeral joint. I.e. when you lift your arm up, your shoulder blade should move (upwards rotation) approximately 60 degrees and your glenohumeral joint should move approximately 120 degrees (swipe for a visual thanks to Carvalho et. al). 

When you do not allow this upwards rotation, i.e when you bring your shoulder blades down and back together, you are forcing the movement predominantly into your glenohumeral joint. This can lead to shoulder pain and issues, commonly shoulder impingement, which I see a lot in pole dancers 🤸🏼‍♂️

This is general advice. If you have pain or shoulder issues, particularly during pole, please see a health professional > 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

#scapularrhythm #health #prehab #injuryprevention #chiro #chiropractor #burwood

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