The shoulder is a complicated joint.   If we stick to the basics of how a healthy shoulder moves, then we can start to explore this issue fully.

Scapulo Humeral Rhythm

The shoulder blade (scapula) rotates when we lift our arms. If we are having trouble lifting our arm past 90 degrees, then we need to explore scapula rotation.

Posture, alignment and co-ordination all play a role.  Explore Internal Rotation, Scapula Stability and Rotation to better understand your issue.

Poor Shoulder Posture

Poor Shoulder Posture


Improved Shoulder Posture

Shoulders are designed to be stable first & strong second.  Think Bruce Lee, not The Hulk.  If the shoulder and the core connect, you get power.  If your shoulder works in isolation, you get pain.

This is where the strong muscles are. Your body is literally designed to use your shoulder as little as possible, except as a connection to your torso. Y our body wants to channel all of the force to your abs and hips, via your shoulder blade.

A shoulder working in isolation – without support from the core – is injury prone.

When we think about our shoulders, we often think about the parts we can see, especially front on.   The shoulder joint must maintain some level of stability through the upper back, to spread the load out evenly and allow for greater function. You don’t need to be massively strong, you just need to be balanced.


Note all the muscles connecting the spine to the shoulder blade. Many of these muscles are designed with climbing trees in mind.  Pulling ourselves from branch to branch, our past monkey-selves maintained scapula stability.  Sitting at a desk turns these muscles off which then affects out posture.

You don’t need to be a massive weight lifter for a healthy shoulder.  In reality, you need some good quality deep tissue treatment, combined with some at home rehab to pull your shoulder back into a better position.