Understanding the way your shoulders work will help you keep them healthy. Smart shoulders are happy shoulders.


Your shoulders are made up of a complex choreography of muscles across four different joints. This allows for an impressive range of movements and amazing versatility, but it also makes the shoulders prone to imbalance and injury.

Learning how to balance and coordinate the muscles of the shoulder is essential to healing or preventing pain… especially for those of us who like to do intense things with our shoulders and want to avoid injury.

Our new Shoulder School DVD was created to provide knowledge and tools for athletes and people who suffer from shoulder problems to stabilize, strengthen, and open up their shoulders to decrease pain and injury and improve performance. This page contains some supplemental information for the real shoulder nerds who want to learn more about how their bodies work.

Learn Your Anatomy

Understanding where the muscles run and how they work will help you to feel those muscles and employ them when you need them. 

The main muscles you really need to know are:

   Deltoids (Front, Middle, and Back)
   Pectoralis (Minor and Major)
   Trapezius (Upper and Lower)
   Rotator Cuff Muscles    
   Teres Minor    

There are many great resources out there for learning about your muscles. Here's one we like.

Inside Line vs. Outside Line

The two different lines of pull that are at work in the shoulder joint are often out of balance. This video helps to explain the basics of where these two lines connect the arms to the body and how they interact to create balance in the shoulder joint.

If you want to fully nerd out with more detailed information about myofascial meridians and how they work in the body we highly recommend Thomas W. Meyers’ book Anatomy Trains available at his website.

How do I Work My Outside Line?

Excellent question, so glad you asked. Now that you know where your outside line is you can watch this video that gives you a series of exercises designed to help you target and strengthen the muscles of the outside line. These can be done daily and are helpful for people at any level of fitness from absolute beginner to super buff advanced (just add a theraband).

Please check back for more updates and feel free to interact with us through our Instagram (#shoulderschool #smartshoulders) or Facebook pages. We love to hear from you!