Teaching proper scapular activation and muscle patterning for the shoulder is key when helping athletes to return to high level sports. The strain sports can place on the shoulder, can quickly exceed the natural capacity the joint is meant to handle. But have no fear – the pros at Idaho Sports Medicine Institute are here to help! Check out how they work to tackle shoulder rehab with the help of biofeedback below.
The following exercises are a great example of how to use mTrigger biofeedback to increase muscle activation of the very important scapular stabilizing muscles and prime shoulder movers.
The ‘Prone Y’ exercise works on lower trap (and some posterior deltoid) activation to upwardly rotate the scapula. This allows for proper movement of the shoulder joint during overhead movements and activities.
A key function of the rotator cuff and surrounding muscles of the shoulder is to dynamically stabilize the glenohumeral joint (the proper terms for the shoulder joint) during movements. The better stability an athlete has, the better their performance typically is. This exercise is a great example of how to work the stabilizing muscle of the shoulder in response to dynamic movements.
During ‘ABC Ball Circles,’ the athlete is really working on engaging their lats and serratus throughout the exercise to allow for efficient, controlled, and well supported movement of the arm.
Throughout the course of rehabilitation, it is important to incorporate exercises that progressively work more challenging positions of the arm and shoulder. Addressing muscle activation, function, and timing in varying angles of the shoulder joint is critical for long term success.
The ‘Prone High Row’ exercise is a building block for the exercise you see later on in this post. This current exercise example works posterior shoulder activation, specifically the posterior deltoid here, to properly activate the retractors of the scapula.
Once this exercise has been mastered, it is a good idea to progress to a more challenging exercise that combines motions:
The ‘High Row to External Rotation’ exercise works on not only scapular muscle activation, but also timing and positioning of the shoulder blade throughout the entirety of the exercise. The electrodes placed on the lower trap / lat assure the athlete is achieving that same scapular motion we saw earlier but now adding a combined movement with external rotation.
Using mTrigger biofeedback is an excellent way to help athletes learn what it feels like to activate the proper scapular muscles. These muscles are essential to safe athletic performance without excessive wear or injury. Thanks so much to the team at Idaho Sports Medicine Institute for letting us be a part of your athletes’ journeys to full recovery!
All videos provided courtesy of Idaho Sports Medicine Institute.