Why Are My Shoulder Blades Winging & How Do I Fix It?
There are a variety of reasons why shoulder blades can wing, or stick out like bird wings from the back.
A common cause of this though, I believe, is due to having a weak Serratus Anterior Muscle.
How a Weak Serratus Anterior Causes Scapular Winging
What the Serratus Anterior does is to hold your shoulder blades against your rib cage. If this muscle is weak for some reason, it will not be able to do its job as effectively.
So what will happen due to Serratus Anterior weakness will be scapular winging. Not only will this look unattractive, but it will also mean a lack of shoulder stability, which can potentially lead to pain.
Therefore, if you want to better “glue” your shoulder blades down to your rib cage, the Serratus Anterior is a muscle you are going to want to workout.
How a Tight Pec Minor Can Cause Scapular Winging
The Pec Minor is a very overlooked chest muscle. However, just because it is overlooked though does not mean it is weak!
As you can see from the picture, the Pec Minor attaches to your ribs and your shoulder blade. This muscle commonly becomes very tight though!
Because many of us tend to round our shoulders when we do things such as sitting, this places the Pec Minor in a shortened position. You can imagine how sitting with rounded shoulders day after day can cause significant tightness!
When the Pec Minor muscle is tight, it can tilt your shoulder blade forward. This can cause it to stick out more in the back, which can contribute to that winged scapula look.
Due to this, the Pec Minor is certainly a muscle you are going to want to stretch.
How to Workout The Serratus Anterior Muscle
The first of the winged scapula exercises you are going to do is going to target your Serratus.
The position to workout this muscle is very similar to a starting bench press position. You are going to begin laying back on the floor or a bench with a dumbbell in your hand. Pick a weight you feel comfortable with and that you can do 15 repetitions with.
The position you are going to want to get into is below. Don’t worry, I will explain EVERYTHING in a video below.
Are you in this starting position now? GOOD! From this position, bring your arm forward towards the ceiling.
Essentially in this exercise, called the Serratus Punch, you are lifting the back of your shoulder off the ground. In a way, you are doing a mini punch forward. Because one action of the Serratus is shoulder protraction, or bringing your shoulder blade forward, this exercise will work effectively!
When I do winged scapula exercises for this muscle, I do 3 sets of 12 and it works quite well. Out of the winged scapula exercises you can do, this one is quite valuable!
How to Stretch The Pec Minor Muscle
Because the Pec Minor muscle has such a propensity to get tight, you DEFINITELY wanna stretch it!
Read More Below….
As I said, when this muscle gets tight, it can tilt your shoulder blade forward more. This can potentially cause it to stick out in the back.
Because it does this, this is certainly a stretch you want to include in your winged scapula exercises.
To stretch this muscle, you are gonna first want to go into the corner of a room. Be sure you have room to raise up your arms.
Once in the corner of the room, you are gonna raise up your arms sideways away from your body. Have your arms higher than shoulder length. This will better target the Pec Minor. Once one arm is on each wall, you are gonna lean into the corner. Hold that stretch for 30 seconds and do it 3-4 times. You should NOT have pain while doing this stretch.
The position to stretch this muscle is shown below.
This stretch should feel quite good when you do it, as most of us have a stiff chest.
In fact, provided you don’t get pain from this stretch, this is something virtually EVERYONE should be doing.
A video explaining this stretch more and exactly how to do it is here below.
Final Thoughts On These Winged Scapula Exercises
By strengthening your Serratus and stretching your Pec Minor, you will be taking actions to reduce winged shoulder blades. By stretching your Pec Minor, you will decrease forward tilting of the scapula. By strengthening your Serratus, you will be allowing it to press the scapula against the rib cage more.
I gave both of these winged scapula exercises to you because I think they will prove to be quite effective. Because they are not hard to do, I encourage you trying both of them out.
So give both these winged scapula exercises a shot and let me know what you think!
Leave a comment down below if you found this article useful or have any questions!