A Crash Course In Shoulder Anatomy
When most people think of their shoulder muscles, they usually picture the large, three-headed deltoid that wraps over and around the top of the shoulder. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The shoulder is a highly complex joint that includes everything from your pecs, traps, and rhomboids, to the small stabilizing muscles of the rotator cuff. “The shoulder doesn’t act alone, and is dependent on other structures surrounding the shoulder, including the pectorals in front, as well as the shoulder blade and thoracic spine for overall motion,” says Matt Kraemer, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the Director of Therapy Services at Banner at University Medical Center Phoenix. According to Kraemer, that’s why basic shoulder stretches alone aren’t as effective at improving mobility as a program that also targets the chest, scapula, and mid-spine.