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Positional Influence on the Scapula and Shoulder (video)

Read time: ≤5 min; Video: 7 min

In previous posts, we explained how mobility and movement are the product of factors from four main categories: posture and position; musculoskeletal factors; neuromuscular/physiologic factors; and motor control.

Coaches and athletes must appreciate that things like foam rolling, stretching, corrective exercise, and smart programming are parts of a comprehensive approach. Mobility and movement issues are usually the result of some combination of the four categories described earlier.

Let's examine a case study to look at the effects of posture and position on movement. Our athlete in this case is a weightlifter and presents with a compromised shoulder position. The athlete presents in Panel 1A with significant depression of the right rib cage and shoulder complex. Panel 1B shows the athlete after intervention.

Figure 1. Shoulder elevation comparison.

One observable effect of this athlete's initial presentation is on shoulder mechanics. Panel 2A shows initial measurement of her glenohumeral internal rotation. Panel 2B shows an improvement in glenohumeral internal rotation of 5° after intervention. Shoulder stability and strength are also affected, which is detailed in the video below.

Figure 2. Glenohumeral internal rotation.

By understanding how to identify factors from each category, and how to address them, we can come up with appropriate strategies for our warm-ups, training, and competition.

In this video, you'll get an introduction to the fundamentals of scapula and shoulder anatomy and joint function. It then goes into further detail of the points made above regarding position, joint function, and muscular function.

Video 1. Scapula and shoulder basics.

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