Fitness Forum: Put your shoulder blades to the test
Sep 07,2007 00:00 by CNS

The moves: A "push-up" using shoulder blade movement.

Works on: Improving rotator cuff health, shoulder girdle coordination, serratus anterior strength.

SHOULDER TEST - Using shoulder blade motion, Robert Logan strengthens his rotator cuff and shoulder girdle. CNS Photo by Peggy Peattie. 
Setup: Stand facing a wall a little more than an arm's length away. Place the palm of one hand on the wall at shoulder height with the fingers pointing up. The other hand can be on the hip, behind the back or simply at the side.

Steps: The elbow of the "pressing" arm does not bend. All movement is produced by the shoulder blade sliding forward and back on the torso. Keep the chest square to wall and do not allow the shoulder blade to creep up into a shrugged position. "Press" the body away from the wall by using only shoulder blade motion (the shoulder blade should come around the side of the torso). Hold for one second, then slowly allow the shoulder blade to retract fully to the spine.

Repetitions: Perform three sets of 15 repetitions.

Precautions: Keep the hand at or below shoulder height. Keep the neck relaxed and the head centered above the spine. Breathe normally.

Options: Move the feet back for more resistance, or reproduce the exercise on a bench using a dumbbell for resistance (ensure shoulder blade motion is not hindered by the bench).