Having strong, mobile shoulders is important for your entire body. But when you search for information for shoulder pain, shoulder impingement, shoulder strengthening, or best rotator cuff strengthening routines, you see much of the same information. Well, tune in to learn about all the different places you need to train and the 2 most important muscles that must be in your routine.
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When people are working with their shoulders and they’re trying to develop strength, mobility, or maybe trying to do some corrective exercise, or get rid of pain or injuries, they forget a bunch of really important factors about all the different joints that are required for shoulder strength, mobility, and stability. They focus on just the shoulder, and that’s not all you need.
And there’s two really important muscles within this complex that people almost generally never work. So I want you stay tuned. We’re going to talk about all these joints and these two really important muscles that you need to work.
Greetings to all. I’m Ekemba Sooh. I’m the owner of Solcore Fitness. I’ve been in this field for almost 30 years, actually I think it’s now 30 years, and I’m Soma therapist and Soma trainer. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s kind of like a physical therapist, but more, and it’s all underneath the osteopathic paradigm of which I’ve been studying for I think about 17, maybe 18 years.
Osteopath is all about holistic by treating the body as it was designed as a one interdependent, interconnected being that needs to function properly so everything I talk about is within this holistic paradigm.
So if you’d like to hear more stuff about being holistic with your body, with exercises and stretches, I want you to subscribe this channel. If you like this video, please give a thumb’s up. Let’s the algorithm know that it’s a good video so others can watch. And then don’t forget to share it with your friends.
So as I alluded to at the beginning, your shoulder is not just your glenohumeral joint. Glenohumeral is this. Glen means the opening in the shoulder blade, the glenoid, and humeral means your arm bone. Those two together form the glenohumeral joint. So when people talk about the shoulder, that’s basically what they’re talking about. They talk about that one area.
But there’s five. These are the five joints of the shoulder. They’re also called the five joints of disease. It’s the guy who found it. Don’t ask me to spell it because I can’t, the five joints of disease, okay? So if I got two shoulders, it means I got 10 joints I have to work with, okay?
So I’m going to go slow here. The groupings of these shoulder joints fall into two. One has two classifications, the other one has three, total of five. The first one with two is your scapula, humeral group. Again, scapula means shoulder blade, humeral, arm, okay? So if your glenohumeral joint as one of them, then if your subdeltoid joint as a second, that’s the first section. That’s two of the five.
The second section is your scapular girdle or classifications. There’s three underneath there. Your scapular girdle is also part of your cervical thoracic diaphragm. It’s one of the four diaphragms. The other three are the cranial, thoracic, and pelvic. So this scapular girdle one, the first one, hope I get this right, is your SCCC, your sternal, chondral, costal, clavicular joint right here. The second one is your AC joint, and the last one underneath your shoulder blade is your serratic joint. Okay. So we got the five now.
It’s important to think about all five because all five work together to make your shoulder strong and mobile, what you need. Your shoulders should be very mobile. The way it’s designed, it should be very mobile. But if you have something off in these five joints, then you’re going to have something off in your shoulders. Because these five joints on each side, the 10 total, they’re kind of like a hammock right on your shoulder, right? We want to keep this nice and balanced. So if I’ve got something off in my SCCC on my left side and it causes me to have some sort of thing like that, right? Well, it’s going to throw off the other side, too. If I get thrown off on my shoulder joints, then I end up with decreased strength, mobility, pain and injury. And the pain and injury doesn’t have to be from the side that you have the issues. So again, if I have an issue here at my SCCC, I could end up having pain here. I see it all the time.
Along these five joints that I just went on about, you also need muscle. You need muscle to help keep things in place and to move your body properly. So the important muscles of the shoulder are, first and foremost, your rotator cuff muscles. Your rotator cuff muscles are actually part of your shoulder capsule. So you can look at a picture of their shoulder capsule and you can see like the infraspinatus, supraspinatus. They’re actually part of the capsule. They actually go into it. It’s like a thickening of the capsule.
On top, literally and figuratively, is your deltoid. That’s your main shoulder muscle. You have a front, middle and the back part that work almost independently of each other, but also together.
Now, some other muscles people don’t think about, first and foremost, is your bicep. Your bicep, as suggest, has two muscles, your long head and short head. Your short head attaches to your coracoid process right here, which is part of your shoulder blade. Your longhead bicep attaches to the top of your glenoid on your shoulder blade. So again, your glenoid is a space where the humerus, the arm, goes in and rotates. So on top of it, your longhead bicep attaches.
On the back of your arm, you have your tricep. The main one is your longhead tricep that attaches right below the glenoid so that longhead bicep and longhead tricep work together to help manage the scapula.
And quick note, if you go get shoulder surgery, especially a rotator cuff surgery, a lot of times what’s done is they repair the supraspinatus because it’s become too weak and frayed. But then they also cut the longhead bicep and attach it back into the humerus. They do that because that bicep tendon has become frayed, irritated. It hurts bad, so they cut it off and stick it back in. You may have no pain afterwards, but the problem is now your shoulder is much less stable because that muscle cannot work with the longhead tricep muscle anymore above and below the glenoid because it’s cut.
Other muscles. You have your pec minor, your pec major over here, which help attach your shoulder blade and your sternum and all that stuff. You have your lat, which attach to your shoulder blade into your humerus. You have your levator scapula, which is a muscle from your shoulder blade up to your neck. You have your serratus posterior, superior, which attaches to your shoulder blade and to your spine. You have your trap muscle, the big diamond muscle in your neck right there attaches to your neck, shoulder blade and shoulders.
And then the two most important ones I want to talk about today, that people forget and don’t train together to work together in concert, is your serratus anterior and your rhomboids. Your serratus anterior runs from right below your chest like a fan and attaches to your shoulder blades.
And then the opposite side, your rhomboids go from middle of your shoulder blades out to your shoulder blades and they work together. They work together as antagonist to work with your shoulder blade to keep it in a good place. As I said, your serratus anterior and your rhomboids are complementary antagonist muscles. Let me say work in opposition with each other, but for the good of keeping your shoulder blades in the proper place.
I will go out on a limb and say the health of not only your shoulders and your upper body and your whole body is dictated a lot by the position of your shoulder blades. If my shoulder blades are not back in place, it doesn’t allow my head to stay back. It pushes my head forward. If my shoulder blades in place, it affects my pelvic area on the opposite side. So this side would affect that side, that that. So if they’re out or in a bad place it’s going to cause bad tension down the other side.
So keeping your shoulder blades in place using the serratus anterior and rhomboids is huge. When the shoulder blades are back, like I said, it’s good for the health of the body, it allows for, like I said, the head to be back and for your shoulder, your arm, excuse me, to move properly in a nice round motion. If I have bad shoulders and forward, there’s nothing I can do to make it move properly. It’s always going to move in a compromised position.
By moving in this compromised position, I start to get wear and tear wherever you have more weak links. A lot of times people get wear and tear through your supraspinatus or your bicep like I talked about, but it could be anywhere. People get frozen shoulder because it’s the same issue, too.
So you want to keep these shoulders back by using the serratus anterior and rhomboids. It allows the shoulder blades to stay back and also perform their actions, which is elevation and depression, scapula, axilla and spinal rotation and protraction and retraction. Those are the main actions you want your shoulder blades to take.
Now the reason why the serratus anterior and the rhomboids are so important is, again, they work together, but they’re part of that serratic joint. Again, to remind you, that serratic joint is a joint underneath the shoulder blade. That joint, like all joints, needs to be fluid and smart, right? So all joints need to have a lot of fluidity so they’re healthy and they also need to be turned on so they’re smart. But if I have these compromised positions, I get the opposite. They’re not fluid and they’re stupid.
I don’t know if it’s happened to you, but I’ve seen a lot of people sometimes if you push on these people shoulder blades, you hear this cracking and popping, right? They go, “Oh, my bones are moving.” That’s not your bones. That’s the liquid inside your fascia and your joint becoming all congealed because it’s not moving properly. That’s one of the issues.
The other issue is it’s turned off. So now I should have a joint that’s communicating to my brain, helping me to do a bunch of great fun things, but it’s not there. My shoulder’s a little dumber, but now I move around, I’ve got a dumb shoulder. So to work with these serratus anterior and the rhomboids, you need to do a couple of things.
First, you need to respect Hill’s muscle model. Hill, another scientist because this is not just the stuff I say, I get this from studying, says that for a muscle to be fully functional it needs three parts to work together as one, your muscle fibers, the fascia that surrounds the muscle and the joints. They all have to work together. So when you’re training your shoulders, you can’t just focus on muscles, right? Muscles only work as well as the joints are smart and the fascia surround it is fluid, open and also smart. So you have to work with all three factors.
To work with this serratus anterior, you have to understand that it’s like a fan, right? So it’s not just one way of doing things. It’s multiple different angles to work at the serratus anterior and also working with two different parts, either the part that attaches to your ribs, the part attaches to your scapula, not just one.
And you have your rhomboids, you got two of them, a major and minor. They’re not in the same place so when you work your rhomboids, you need work in different angles. The rhomboids also need to work in a very important position. You have an important position of your shoulder called above your glenohumeral. So again, again, to remind you, glenohumeral means glen is the opening, humeral means the humeral bone. Once I get above your glenohumeral angle and it’s different for each person, it’ll lock your scapula in place.
So as I go back and move my arm like that, because I’m above the glenohumeral, this bone, the humerus bone and the scapula become like one bone so we move together. If I’m lower than that and I move and I’m moving just the arm and you can feel the difference, so I feel just this moving through here, okay, fine, that’s great. But I want to work my rhomboids because my rhomboids attach to my scapula and you work above the glenohumeral. It is very, very important. You see a lot of strengthening exercises for the rhomboids or whatever, for those rhomboids, not whatever, for the rhomboids, and they’re not working above the glenohumeral.
So those are the two main muscles I want to talk about today and why they’re so important, but they don’t work alone. Again, I talk about holistic here so we talked about the different joints.
So you work in those areas of those different joints that I talked about, those five joints, and you work all those muscles I talked about before. But you also need to include things like your spine, right? So if my spine, if I’ve got this, like a more kyphotic posture that gets overly rounded and stuck, well, you can see why that happens. It pushes my shoulders forward, my head forward. So I can work the rhomboids, I can work the serratus anterior, but I also have to work all those different aspects.
That was a lot, I know that. But I hope you get a better idea of how to work with your shoulders now. And again, if you can find those exercises to work with properly, then you’re going to get a lot of results and then you can start to add on to all the different parts that I’ve drone on about, too.
If you want help with this, then I’m more than willing to help. I can do so by a couple of different ways. Three, actually. So you can join my private Facebook group if you’re on Facebook. All you have to do is go to the description, click on that link, answer a few questions, agree to the terms, and this will be an interactive way to join me to learn more.
I do like little mini trainings, I do little videos, I do masterclasses, and I interact with members in this forum to help with whatever they need.
I also have in description a link for a free ebook. So it’s how to get out of pain, get mobile and live the life of your dreams. There’s four steps to that. You can download that by simply clicking the link, putting your information in, and get an instant access.
Or if you want to find out more about this holistic exercise program or holistic way of treating yourself, then you can reach out and speak to me by using the description below to choose a time via my Calendly link and set up a time we can talk.
I hope this is helpful. I hope you have a good day and I’ll see you next week.
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