Shoulder Biomechanics

 In Shoulder

The Shoulder in Pilates – Shoulder Biomechanics:

We’re going to go out on a limb here, and say that arm movement is an important role within Pilates…Pun totally intended there.

In order for the arms to move well, the shoulder and the muscles surrounding the shoulder need to allow the bones to move – But for a lot of people, this isn’t the case. Invariably a tight or short muscle can restrict the bones from moving and therefore cause an impingement, discomfort or pain.

Today, Bonnie shows us some of the common asymmetries that you might notice in your classes…As Pilates Teachers, we’re exceptional at recognising movement and with simple yet objective screens like this, you can start to become an exceptional Pilates Therapist!

Here is the full video for Shoulder Biomechanics – For those of you who like to read, we’ve also outlined the key points covered so you can follow along too! You can also visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to view all of the latest content!

Elbows Bend:

This is more commonly a sign of tightness in the Pectoralis Major. Tightness in this muscle means that it’s not allowing the clavicle to rotate and move up with the acromiom. Therfore, this does not allow the acromioclavicular joint to create space for the humeral head.

Pectoralis Major
Latissimus Dorsi

Arms Drop Out to Side:

If the arms start to slide out to the side, this could be a sign of tightness in the Latissimus Dorsi. The role of the Latissimus Dorsi is to extend the arm as well as adduct it – If the Lats are tight then the arm cannot fully extend and stay adducted.

These are just a couple of signs you might see in your typical class – How you then help to release the muscles or deal with a sub-optimal movement pattern can be explored on our Shoulders course. We delve into greater detail as we discuss the anatomy as well as some really useful tools which you can do with your clients to help facilitate a more optimal movement patterning…perhaps even taking a painful movement into a pain-free movement…wouldn’t that be nice!

Interested in learning more?

…If you’re looking to learn more about the shoulder, we have our Shoulders course taking place in Dorset on 6th July and in Gatwick during our Intensive Bridging Course on August 15th – For more information you can either click here, or to book onto the course, please feel free to email us at

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