Complete Scapula Mobilization Routine

November 2, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

Complete scapula mobilization routine to add strength and mobility to your shoulders.

Your shoulders are very complex (18 muscles are attached to your scapula) which is why they require lots of sophisticated work to stay strong and healthy.

In sports, martial arts and general fitness lots of strength and power in your upper body comes from the movement of your scapula.

When you are throwing a punch, hitting with a bat or doing push ups, a significant portion of the strength comes from your scapula.

The more explosive the movement, the more you can expect to use the strength of your scapula. This is why weightlifters have big trapezius muscles and boxers have strong serratus anterior muscles.

The exercises demonstrated here will strengthen the scapula muscles from all angles which will allow them to perform at the highest level. They will also increase the control and range of motion over the scapula movements.

Drills like these will also ensure your shoulders stay healthy and less-prone to injuries. Shoulder injuries are common and you obviously want to avoid them.

Scapula Circles

The purpose is to rotate your shoulders freely in a circular motion through the complete range of motion of your shoulders. Watch the video.

Different body positions will force different scapula muscles to do the task which is why it's important to hit the shoulders from many different angles and positions. 

In the beginning you may lack shoulder mobility which prevents you to do these movements correctly. In this case, just use as much range of motion as you can - your strength and mobility will improve overtime. 

Plank Scapula Circles

scapula circles in plank

Plank scapula circles will primarily target the serratus anterior and pectoralis minor.

Inverted Scapula Circles

inverted row shrugs

Inverted scapula circles will strengthen the muscles of your middle back: rhomboids and middle traps. 

Hanging Scapula Circles

hanging bar shrugs scapula circles

Hanging scapula circles will work the rhomboids, middle traps, lower traps and lats.

Overhead Scapula Circles

pike shrugs and scapula circles

Overhead scapula circles (you can do them from the pike position or with a barbell) will hit the upper trapezius and levator scapulae.

Dip Scapula Circles

dip shrugs for mobility

Dip scapula circles will target the pecslower and upper trapezius muscles.

Reverse Scapula Circles

inverted scapula mobilization

Reverse scapula circles will target the same muscles as the inverted scapula circles: rhomboids and, uppermiddle traps.

Side Plank Scapula Circles

side scapula mobility

Side plank scapula circles will target the serratus anterior, pectoralis muscles and even lats!

Do these drills for 1-3 sets per exercise until your shoulders start to get tired.

You can also just pick one position and work on that for a small period of time until you feel like you've mastered it. Then move onto the next one.

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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