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If you want to know you first have to know how to assess it. In this video, I give you a step by step approach for fixing scapular winging and show you the exact stretches and exercises that will help you the fastest to do this. The scapulae (or shoulder blades) are good indicators of the health of your shoulder since they are directly part of the socket joint of the shoulder. If you have a movement dysfunction in your shoulder blades then you can be assured of the fact that your shoulder itself will not operate properly.

The first thing you want to do is look at how your shoulder blades move as you raise your arms up overhead and straight out in front of you. Have somebody video you so you can watch for the flaws after the fact. Look for a slight head nod to either side, a slightly elevated shoulder on one side, or a protrusion of one or both shoulder blades as you raise or lower the arms back down. Here, Jesse is demonstrating all of these. You might also see a bunching up of the shoulder blades as you raise up which could be an indicator of tight rhomboids.

If any of these is present you will want to perform the stretches shown for 45-60 seconds. Stretches for the levator scapula and rhomboids are shown and would need to be done for each of the sides that is affected. The key, as with any stretch, is the consistency with which you perform it. Aim for at least 4-5 times per week of 3-5 reps at a time on the sides that are affected.

The next thing to do is assess what your posture looks like in standing from both sides as well as the front. Again, you can either have someone take a picture of you in each position or just stand in front of a mirror and look for yourself. What you are looking for here is a pronounced rounding of one shoulder or both as well as a shoulder that seems to droop down more than the other. Tightness in the internal rotators of the shoulder (particularly subscapularis) as well as the lats and pec minor can be major causes of this. Here are videos in which I show you how to stretch each of these areas in depth.

How to Stretch Your Chest (AND HOW NOT TO!) –

Rotator Cuff Stretches (The Ones You REALLY Need!) –

How to Stretch Your Lats ( STRETCH EVER!) –

The key is that when these muscles are tight, impingement of the long thoracic nerve can become more probable. When this happens, the muscles that it attaches to (the serratus anterior) can become weak and cause the scapular winging to occur. Here, no matter how much strength training and exercises you do for the serratus, you will not fix the problem until the tight muscles are stretched and the compression is relieved.

Finally, you will have a series of serratus anterior exercises that you can perform to start strengthening this and correcting the position of the shoulder blades when moving your arms overhead. Don’t try and do all of the exercises shown. Instead, choose 2-4 of the them and aim to work them into a small routine 3 times per week in addition to your regular workouts to start correcting the imbalance.

Remember, the focus should be on quality reps and not quantity. Aim to complete 20 sets of 1 rather than 1 set of 20. In time, you will see that you not only will fix your scapular winging dysfunction but will start realizing more pain free gains in your shoulders once again.

For a complete workout program that puts the science back in strength and realizes that there are no unimportant muscles, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start training like an athlete today and take your gains to all new levels.

For more videos on how to build bigger shoulders and the exercises for your rotator cuff and shoulder health be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

    42 replies to "How to Fix Scapular Winging (STEP BY STEP!)"

    • Robert

      4:09 Rhomboideus stretch
      4:51 Levator scapulae stretch
      8:00 Serratus anterior exercise #1: Apple picker
      9:01 Serratus anterior exercise #2: Lean back pushups
      10:03 Serratus anterior exercise #3: Protracted band pull aparts
      11:12 Serratus anterior exercise #4: Wall screw
      12:39 Serratus anterior exercise #5: Dip plus
      13:37 Serratus anterior exercise #6: Straight arm pushdown

      • Daniel Stojanow


      • Calebe Lino

        I must be wrong, but it seems that this trouble is not really related to serratus anterior. This muscle actually tends to pull the scapula making it medially pops. Probably the real problem is the rounded shoulder, a disfunction by postural injure.

      • Maria Lakshmi

        @AlcatrazMeow it’s a resistance band. You could also use a theraband. Buy a more expensive one because the cheap ones can snap easily.

      • conkerx24

        How many sets and reps?

      • Beards vs Everyone

        So happy i have started to look into this.
        My right shoulder blade is out and the pain i get when trying to train upper body sucks.
        I can’t do bench press at all so hopefully this helps.


      4:10 Rhomboid Stretch
      4:44 Levator Stretch
      7:40 Apple Picker
      9:00 Lean Back Pushup
      10:02 Protracted Band Pull Aparts
      11:10 The Wall Screw
      Post edit for those who have access to Captains chair and gym equipment-
      12:25 Dip Plus
      13:30 Straight Arm Pushdown

      • Acrez

        Does anyone know if you can still workout while working on scapular winging I.e. arms, legs and upper body with lighter weights?

      • Hunter Venezio

        @Burkan Yilmaz how long ??

      • Josiah Randolph Baldwin

        Thanks king

      • Emil Jan

        Thanks for the markers.

      • Rain Man

        ​@Burkan Yilmaz Merhaba Burkan bey benimde sağ tarafımda 20 gün önce kanat skapula ortaya çıktı. Gittiğim doktorlar uzun torasik sinirdeki hasardan kaynaklandığını söylediler. Sizin durumunuz nasıl oldu doktora gittiniz mi? Antrenmanlar işe yaradı mı? Mesajımı görürseniz lütfen cevap verin. Türkiyeden selamlar

    • marty pellow

      Thanks for these. Really helpful. In the first two exercises, he did round the thoracic spine when he was protracting and rotating up. But in the fourth exercise, the screw on the wall, you told him not to do that. So should we not be rounding the thoracic spine in any of these exercises?

    • Jennifer Hero

      Thank you for not only showing the stretches and exercises, but also sharing exactly how much to do and how to incorporate them into a training routine. That’s the piece that was missing from all the other info I found. Much appreciated!

    • Tad Baterbomb

      I’ve probably fixed 3 or 4 different pains I’ve suffered with for years just by watching this dude’s videos in the span of a day. Literally a lifesaver!

    • John McLaren

      I’ve been in extreme pain for two weeks with the right side shoulder blade, I’ve gone to massage & chiropractor therapy and with no relief! After watching your video which iam a subscriber to your channel I’ve been doing this now since early this morning and can feel the difference already and the pain is slowly dissipating ! Thanks for the tips!!!!

    • Gareth Goodram

      Hi I just wanted to say thank you for this video. It has really helped me out. I’ve had pain in my back shoulder blade. This pain runs up and down my spine into my kneck. And one of the stretches that was demonstrated on jess really did the trick. All the tension and stress in my back has disappeared. 😊 I’ve subscribed to your channel my friend. And hit the like button. Thank you again. 😊💯👌

    • Craig Wabano

      One of the first people I learned from! Thanks many life times, your videos are very inspiring, and helpful. The pursuit of decent posture is a long dark path with mistakes and failure included. By watching you I added more effective workout/stretches to my routine and other very efficient physical activities to improve my everyday living. I was a 240 pound male who was 6’1 that stood at 6’0 due to my lower back to neck being badly neglected and under developed. I owe you tons! SO much that I finally made a youtube acc to subscribe! Thanks Athlean-X!!!!!

    • Naksh Sanson

      I wasn’t able to sleep and every morning woke up with a bum back with this irritating nerve pain. Your exercises are very helpful. For the first time in a very long time I feel like I have some strength in my neck and the pressure on my back is relieved. Levator Stretch worked for me. Thanks bro. God bless you.

    • Vel K

      I have paid so many chiropractors and this guy just fixed some of my lingering problems with his videos. RESPECT!!!

      • Anime wolf

        @Vel K my mother is a certified PT and studying massage therapy. Chiropractor and physio therapy is bachelor degree of health allied and fitness industrial practices. Following a youtube blogger that is stating he is a athlete that is not a certified general practitioner in physiotherapy.

      • Lucius Andrellius

        I’ve been to two chiropractors and on my second physical therapist and Jeff’s videos and exercises have helped me more. My latest physical therapist is modifying my workout plan based on the feedback I give him of what the most effective exercises I’ve done are. The ones I find here. The way it’s going I’ll probably end up phasing out most of the stuff my PT gives me and do mostly the exercises I learned watching Jeff’s videos. This guy is probably the best at what he does. The PTs I’ve been to seem to guess their way though it while Jeff really seems to understand human anatomy and fundamentally what’s going on with any human body and how to fix it.

      • Lucius Andrellius

        @Vel K I have had the same experience with chiropractors. They align you but don’t know how to address the underlying problem of why you got out of alignment in the first place. Soon after your muscles pull you back out of alignment because the chiropractor didn’t teach you how to strengthen the antagonist muscles to keep your body balanced and aligned. I think chiropractors have a limited role of what they can fix. It you had a sudden acute injury that popped something out of place they can put it back but if something is out of alignment because of sitting in front of a computer at work for ten years to the point you have chronic muscle imbalance then a chiropractor isn’t going to help you much other that providing temporary relief. This is based on my experience and at least a dozen visits to two different chiropractors.

      • Cari Matthews

        Im a PTA and I learned more from him than anyone in my industry, and iv’e worked with the best. Maybe it’s because PT is now dictated by insurance companies and profit-centric care.

    • Matthew Jacob

      Thank you, these exercises and stretches are fundamental. As someone recovering from some severe back and shoulder injury, I do watch your videos often.

      I lost interest in exercising after I got stabbed (lead to depression, loss of self image, and a little loss of will). But I never let that break me.

      I used to be focused on strength and physique, powerlifting brought me a sense of accomplishment. Watching your videos reminded me of the routine, that day-to-day cycle of knowing and learning control over my own body. Whatever reason people may have for getting into fitness, you’re the one consistent reference I never have any doubts about. I definitely share your videos.

      Those little changes in stance, shifts in technique, rotation and direction, really ring through, cause it’s all helped me! Probably said all this before, but I wish you the best, stay safe and healthy. And thank you for the motivation, for the education, and for the help fixing what’s damaged. You’re exemplary.

    • Frances Bernard

      Thank you! The one arm raised stretch against the wall which I have never done before and the modified cat/cow into melting heart yoga stretch to start doing again looks perfect for me to start doing more of again too. The apple picking exercise which I have never seen before looks fun for me to do too.

    • wubalubadubdub

      Thank you for the levator scapulae stretch Jeff and Jessie! Instant improvement in my rom for turning my head. Will incorporate daily now. You guys never disappoint when I have an issue. Jeff also fixed my elbow pain with reverse curls. Best fitness channel on YouTube! Everytime they make a video, a surgeon looses money 😆

    • Sandy Edwards

      I’m not a bodybuilder but this video is excellent. I’ve been struggling with shoulder issues for years after a car accident and these stretches and exercises are so helpful. Thank you so much

    • Ravi Amin

      been having huge winging and impingement issues in my left side. it causes inefficiencies in every lift, including leg exercises like squats and deadlifts. this has helped a lot!

      • Jasokage

        How long did it take for you to see improvements?

      • Amitya Bikram

        Do u still have winged scapula?

      • Ravi Amin

        @Amitya Bikram definitely, but these exercises help.

    • Dianne Nolan

      Sleeping on our side is one of the biggest contributors to this common problem. This was great. Thank you!

    • Laura Kausek

      😭Thank you for helping me! Man, I’ve been having pain in my scapula and this video helped me to identify why. I do calisthenics and I haven’t been stretching enough.

    • ATHLEAN-X™

      Scapular winging might not be your only postural deficiency, so I put together a video to permanently fix your posture in just 4 simple moves =>

      • FMGE rocks

        Sir my question Can I person with Winging Scapula continue doing Gym?
        Thank you

      • Mehme Sayed

        @FMGE rocks Of course you can. I’ve had this issue for a long time I kept working out not knowing how much it is holding me back from getting stronger

      • Krispy

        @ATHLEAN-X thanks for this video! Are there any particular exercises to stay away from while correcting winged scapula?

      • Sam Roberts

        Wheres that stretching video

    • Tray Conn

      Finally after more than 10 years of pain in my right shoulder blade, exercises and stretching that relieved it. I had an accident over 10 years ago and a total weight of over 1700 lbs of steel fell on my right shoulder across my back ripping open my scalp and shoulder. What should have killed me left me in an immense world of pain for all these years and now thanks to you I only did a few of the stretches and exercises and I immediately felt the pain disappear. I started having tears in my eyes because finally I will be able to rest at night and not be in pain in my shoulder 24×7. Thank you. God Bless All of You.

      • Lucius Andrellius

        It’s amazing that once you find the correct exercises they make an immediate impact on reducing pain. I’ve experimented with different exorcises and doing the wrong ones will make your problem worse but the right ones you know it right away by the time you finish a set you already feel the relief and especially after a few days. I used to have shoulder pain from lift pallets over my head all the time and when I started doing dips it made huge difference in reducing the pain. Same with other pain I’ve been dealing with. You just have to keep searching Jeff’s videos and trying his exercises until you find the right ones. This guy is a miracle man.

      • JohnB

        Jeff making miracles happen

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