Our subject displays a common issue seen in most youth when assuming a push-up position, which is a winging scapula or shoulder blade. This is due to weakness in the serratus anterior muscle. One function of this muscle is to keep the shoulder blade flat against the rib cage, as well as control motion of the shoulder blade. The problem is when the shoulder blade is not in the correct functional position or the motion of the shoulder blade is uncontrolled the shoulder joint is put at risk for injury. Think of how far you can throw a ball if you stand on a skateboard verses standing on the ground. Having a stable surface to work from allows the rotator cuff muscles to function more efficiently. For athlete's involved in sports with overhead movement patterns it is imperative that this issue be corrected if present.
Sometimes a tight posterior shoulder capsule will also contribute to the winging of the shoulder blade. In this case the solution is to execute several specific exercises to target the serratus muscle in isolation, then later bring in exercises that integrate other components of the glenohumeral scapulothoracic complex.
Excessive Shoulder Blade Winging