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The Summer Shoulder: We Need a Stable Base

It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up, which means we get to get back to kayaking, playing some baseball, gardening, and doing all those outdoor house projects we couldn’t get to last year. One thing all these activities require of us is a lot of lifting or generating power through our arms. And let’s be honest, the most many of us used our arms through the winter was to lift that nice mug of hot chocolate.

The last thing you want as you get back to all your hobbies or house projects is for your shoulder to start acting up and preventing you from fun or productivity. So what can we do about it? To answer that question, let’s start with some basics about the shoulder.

We call the shoulder “complex”. The reason for this is because it is not just the ball and socket joint we think of, but actually includes FOUR joints: the glenohumeral joint (ball and socket), AC joint, SC joint, and the scapulothoracic joint. If you are itching to know more about each of those joints, stop on in and talk to us about them. We’d love to share. The important piece of this is that we need to do more than strengthen our rotator cuff and deltoids to keep a healthy shoulder, although doing that is really important. We also need to create a “stable base” for our ball and socket joint to operate off of.

To create a stable base, we must focus on our parascapular muscles. These include our middle trapezius, lower trapezius, rhomboid major and minor, and the serratus anterior. These muscles are all attached to our scapula, or shoulder blade, and help stabilize the shoulder when reaching overhead or lifting. Being primarily stabilizers and postural muscles, heavy weights aren’t required to train them appropriately. We need to improve their endurance through longer holds or increased repetitions.

Let’s get a stable base this year and add these exercises to our routines. Correct form is KEY. If you aren’t sure if you are doing them right, schedule a free consultation with us and we can check your form for you!


Watch: Serattus Anterior Push Up Plus 3 sets / 15-20 repetitions

Watch: Middle Trapezius Prone T 1 set / 10 repetitions / 5-10 second holds

Watch: Lower Trapezius Prone y 1 set / 10 repetitions / 5-10 second holds

To schedule an appointment or attend a running presentation at 212, please contact us (715) 254-3978.

Point Forward Physical Therapy is a unique physical therapy clinic in that it provides services utilizing the Adventure 212 facility. The facility contains a warm water pool for aquatic therapy and allows us to care for our patients in an environment which is unparalleled in the Stevens Point area.

Our therapists are highly trained in treating the whole person utilizing research based methods. We also prioritize the education of our patients on the fastest way to return to the activities they enjoy. Learn more