Recently I have been told by a friend of mine (who is a very very experienced Personal Trainer) that I’ve got scoliosis. And since she has been training me on muscular imbalance and postural correction in clients, I’ve become more and more conscious of my own spine and posture. But that’s for the next post – postural differences in people.
Today I’ll talk about me. This is a picture of me doing a regular “table top” pose. Notice the outward pointing of my shoulder blades? This is called winging, a term I have just learned from my friend, and also one I’ve just found out applied to my own self!
I couldn’t believe it! For over 20 odd years I’ve never thought I’d have posture issues. I mean, I know I am not perfect, but I never knew I was quite so..imperfect.
Anyway, I soon learned that this is due to a weak rhomboid muscles, weak serratus anterior muscles and/or over-reactive pectoral muscles (which are the large chest muscles). Which is also very clearly explains why exercises like the common push up, holding of the plank position (high or low) and chin ups are not my strengths at all! I remembered when I was a gymnast, doing the table top position is in our every day warm up routine. We’d straddle over our peer, and with two hands start pressing down HARD on her back just to get all the cracks out of the bones! It was almost addictive to hear the cracking sound, to a point where if I did not hear it, I knew I wouldn’t have a very satisfying training that day. Some of us still want to have a “back crack” every now and then whenever we’re feeling stiff from whatever life we lead.
So I asked my gymnastic girlfriends to get into the table top position and they both have winging of the shoulder blades too! I think it is a gymnast thing because we’re always trying to pop our chests up and forward, backs arched, chins up to look really elegant and poised. But this is what we end up with, wings!
Not to worry though, there are plenty of exercises to activate the serratus anterior muscles to get rid of those horrendous looking wings! Here’s a site which explains them and gives nice videos to look at too! Let me know if you have any issues and I’ll see if I can do more research on them for you!