When striving for a better physique whether it is my NYC personal training clients or any gym rat out there, we set up meal plans, workouts, schedule massages, hire a coach ( me!) but very often we overlook the mundane things that matter a lot.
In terms of training, it is scapula retraction or lack thereof that can make or break your workout .
Oh wow Maik!
This is so exciting!! Please tell me more!!!!
Well I gladly will!
When you lose your scapula, meaning the shoulders move up and forward you are sabotaging your set aka no gains.
Real world example: If you are doing chest presses and become hunched forward you are now doing a shoulder/triceps press since you can not shorten your pecs anymore
Shoulder press: If you elevate your shoulder , it is more of a trap movement
Side raises: Shoulders go up= you are doing a shrug .
Lat pull down or rows: Once the shoulder moves forward, you are not working within your active range of motion anymore. Meaning? The machine does the work but you are not optimizing the motion.
Triceps press down: An elevated shoulder will make it impossible to shove origin and insertion together since you changed the line of pull.
As you can see an elevated scapula has the power to ruin any upper body workout. What is to be done?
Learn lower/mid trap activation. What? We all are familiar with upper trap training, think shrugs or deadlifts. What we do not do is train the other two thirds of the trapezius which best done via reverse shrugs where you sit at the lat pull down and simply move the shoulder blades up and down ( think 4 inches or 10 cm).
Hold each contraction on each, memorize that feeling since this is your scapula should feel during each set.
To help you visualize all this, here is the video: https://youtu.be/YV5qMCstI9E