Shoulder Girdle Warm Up, Mobilization & "Reset" Exercises

Shoulder Girdle Warm Up, Mobilization & "Reset" Exercises

 If you've been a subscriber of this blog for any amount of time, you well know how important it is to do basic maintenance on your muscles and joint mechanics.

In order to take the best care care of all your body parts, it means working to rebalance the muscle-length tension differential at the four major load joints.  Today I'd like to share a video tutorial on some of my own personal favorite shoulder girdle warm-up, mobilization and re-set exercises.

The video can be broken into three distinct parts.

  1. The Warm-Up
  2. Mobilization
  3. Re-Set Exercises

These movements are designed solely for individuals who are currently in a PAIN-FREE status and want to work on improving their range-of-motion in the shoulder girdle and thoracic spine.  It is not a corrective series designed to help eliminate pain, but beneficial for those who have already undergone the process of postural correction.

If you're intrigued, but know that your joint mechanics are not quite there yet, or you are currently in a painful state, PLEASE watch the series, learn and then search out a local Corrective Exercise Specialist or STOTT Pilates Instructor who can help work with you to create a program to help you balance and restore these movements.

As a professional in the field of chronic pain relief and biomechanics, I can't begin to tell you how important it is to work on keeping the shoulder girdle in a healthy state.  Your ability to both stabilize your scapulae (shoulder blades) into their proper position and keep it free to follow it's proper form and function allows you to:

  1. Avoid strain in the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrist
  2. Engage your abdominals properly
  3. Promote proper thoracic spine flexion and extension
  4. Improve overall posture and performance
  5. Enhance ability to perform activities of daily living and athletic performance
  6. Remain PAIN FREE

There are Four Joints that affect the ability of your scapula (shoulder blade) to move properly.

  1. Glenohumeral (between the head of the humerus and glenoid fossa of the scapula)
  2. Sternoclavicular (a mechanical unit between the medial clavicle and manubrium of the sternum)
  3. Acromioclavicular (movements between the distal clavicle and acromion process of the scapula)
  4. Scapulothoracic (controlled by the scapulothoracic muscles, which hold the scapula in close contact with the trunk and restricts its movements to the contours of the thoracic wall)

See:  IDEA The Shoulder Girdle

There are Six Scapular Movements that should occur freely within a healthy "blue-print" design posture (shoulder in it's ideal position relative to the hip, knee and ankle). They are: 

  1. Elevation (upward gliding)
  2. Depression (downward gliding)
  3. Retraction (inward movement towards the spine)
  4. Protraction (outward movement away from spine)
  5. Upward rotation
  6. Downward rotation

In order for these movements to occur properly, you need very good muscle length tension balance between the the Scapular Stabilizer muscles, which include:

  1. Serratus anterior
  2. Middle trapezius
  3. Lower trapezius
  4. Rhomboids major and minor
  5. and the Latissimus Dorsi assists 
  6. Other muscles involved include:  subclavius, pectoralis minor, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae,


Often times when we experience wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck/head issues, the timing of this ultra important movement pattern is impaired simply due to an overall kinetic chain muscle and joint imbalances.


The shoulder blades have a   capacity for a very large range of motion, however our day to day positioning of them is often compromised by prolonged static postures like sitting and high volumes of tech use (iPosture).  If not worked on, overtime the elbow and wrist can begin to take over function, the scapulae can move into locked or rigid positions, and the proper movement and rhythm are disrupted.  If you're not actively working on correcting your postural position, you have to know you're taking this faulty posture and movement pattern into your workouts.  This is usually why pain, and acute injuries occur.

All three of these mini-sequences help promote proper scapular-humeral (shoulder blade and arm) rhythm AND shoulder girdle stabilization.  This video sequence helps promote stability and rhythm both when the spine is neutral with the arms resting, and during moving and direction changes.

Again, this is simply an example of some of my own personal warm-up, mobilization and "re-set" exercises movements.  They are for individuals in a pain-free status only.

Like this video?  Please leave a comment and let us know.  

Questions or want to leave feedback?  Please feel free to contact me.  Enjoy!


Stock Photo Credit:

Head Photo Credit:  Ruby and Roxy Photography

Author:  Deb Preachuk is a Corrective Exercise Specialist and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.   Follow Deb on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTubePinterest or Instagram pages.

With over 25 years in the health and wellness field, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!