Shoulder Blade Winging

Do your shoulder blades wing ? Do you get pain in your shoulder ? Or perhaps you have difficulty lifting your arms above your head ? One of the most common reasons for shoulder blade winging is due to weakness, lack of control or reduced activation of the serratus anterior (SA) muscle.


This is due to the lack of localised strength of SA during movements of the shoulder, particularly with pushing forward or upwards. One other reason that can contribute to this is muscle tightness in pec minor, levator scapulae and internal rotators of the shoulders.

Try these exercises out below to help improve this!

1) Wall Scap glides

Beginner level exercise priming SA to protract the shoulder blades and then control retraction coming back 2) Cable scap protractions

Increases load and strengthens SA’s primary function 3) Cable Scaption Raises

Improves SA strength/activation through a more dynamic ROM as you raise your arm up 4) Forearm wall slides/climbs w/ foam roller + loop band

Pressing into the foam roller creates more resistance against protraction, thus increasing SA activation. Add a loop band to challenge your shoulders

5) Pec minor, levator scap and Shoulder internal rotation stretches

These are commonly tight muscles that can impact SA ability to move the shoulder blades correctly through full range


Our caring and friendly Chatswood, North Sydney and Sydney CBD Physiotherapy team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions !

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