Advanced Scapular Strength and Control Drill

Scapular strength and control is necessary for long-term shoulder health and to maximize your performance in exercises like Overhead Presses, Chinups, Muscleups and more.

But we don’t often train it in isolation and it’s even more rare to train it with arms overhead and even MORE rare to train it hanging like in today’s video.

When hanging, it’s a closed chain exercise, which elicits greater activation from stabilizer muscles.

Now, I call this drill advanced just because you have to be able to hang from a bar to do it, but you can also do it with some support, for example, use a strength band hooked onto the bar and rest a knee in the band so it supports your weight.

And just try it with your arms up overhead, too, just to get the general idea. When you do it this way, ensure you’re moving from the scapula, because it’s easier to compensate when you’re not hanging out.

Sound good?

Cool – give it a go:

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Lana LibkeJim ZittnanMaggi Cheetham Recent comment authors
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Lana Libke
Lana Libke

Having been a gymnast in a past life I like to hang for my shoulders overall health and I have been doing some of the moves you have recommended. I also hang and twist from the hips. Basically I am playing. When hanging unsupported is too much for some people based on shoulder health and weight using a lat pull machine with a weight greater than the body weight but feet on the floor is a way to progress to a full hang. Feet on floor bending knees taking some weight in the legs but hanging with as much body as you can tolerate. You could also stand on something while holding onto a chin up bar and do the same thing. Love your stuff so looking forward to the updates on the shoulder program.

Jim Zittnan
Jim Zittnan

Ever since doing these exercises I’ve been much effective in all my lifts and am much stronger. Thanks, Eric!!

Maggi Cheetham
Maggi Cheetham

May i suggest a modified version of these exercises for people unable to hold their weight. I have done these exercises at the lat pull down machine if the seat is low enough – great for short people and beginners. you can start with a light weight and focus on the principles: abs engaged, neck relaxed, straight arms… scapular depression and then add the retraction. great way to teach people about the shoulder and its complexity