Shoulder muscles

Thanks to the shoulder muscles, you can move your arms and shoulders in many directions. More about construction and possible problems, read here!

Shoulder muscles

The shoulder muscles is not only active when we move our shoulders. She is also involved in arm, head and trunk movements. Above all, unconscious actions and poor posture (such as pulling up the shoulders in cold or stress) lead to painful tension in the shoulder area. Read all important information about the shoulder muscles!

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shoulder muscles

  • What is the shoulder muscles?

  • What is the function of the shoulder muscles?

  • Where is the shoulder muscles?

  • What problems can the shoulder muscles cause?

What is the shoulder muscles?

The shoulder muscles are part of the skeletal musculature. In the upper part of the chest, it forms a complex construct of numerous muscles involved in movements of the arms, shoulders, shoulder blades and, in the broadest sense, the upper body and the head. The fact that these are even the smallest movements, you notice when watching the breath. If we breathe deeply into the upper part of the chest, the shoulders, collarbone and even the head will lift slightly next to the chest.

The shoulder muscles can be roughly divided into the following groups:

Shoulder muscles of the body back

  • Upper bony muscle (Musculus supraspinatus)
  • Underbird muscle (M. infraspinatus)
  • Deltoid (M. deltoideus)
  • Large round muscle (M. teres major)
  • Small round muscle (M. teres minor)

Shoulder muscles of the body front

  • Unterschulterblattmuskel (Musculus subscapularis)
  • Hamstring muscle (M. coracobrachialis)

rotator Cuff

It is an important muscle group that envelops the shoulder joint. It is formed by three dorsal muscles (supraspinatus muscle, infraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle), a ventral muscle (subscapularis muscle) and a ligament (coracohumeral ligament). The tendons of the short shoulder rotators are fused into a tendon plate and give the rotator cuff its name.

Distant shoulder muscles

In addition to the shoulder joint muscles, there are other muscles in the shoulder girdle that can be attributed to the shoulder muscles: the muscles of the upper arm (such as biceps and triceps), parts of the back muscles (large back muscle, large rhomboid muscle, shoulder blade lifter), pectoral muscles (large and small chest muscle, front Sรคgemuskel ) and the subkeybone muscle. They have an indirect influence on the shoulder movements.

What is the function of the shoulder muscles?

Without its surrounding musculature, the shoulder joint would be quite unstable - the reason for this is the mismatch between the large condyle of the upper arm and the relatively small and flat socket formed by the scapula. The shoulder muscles also make the extensive movements of the arms and shoulders possible, such as turning, lifting or lowering. The main stabilizer is the rotator cuff, which holds the humeral head centered in the joint span of the scapula.

Depending on which movement we want to perform with the arms, different muscles are used:

Lateral Abduction of the Arms (Abduction):

  • Deltoid (Deltoid Muscle)
  • Upper bones (M. supraspinatus)

Leading the arms (adduction):

  • Large pectoralis muscle (M. pectoralis major)
  • Broad back muscle (M. trapezius)
  • Large round muscle (M. teres major)
  • Small round muscle (M. teres minor)

Lifting the arms forward (anteversion):

  • Deltoid (M. deltoideus)
  • Large pectoralis muscle (M. pectoralis major)
  • Upper bones (M. supraspinatus)
  • Biceps muscle (M. biceps brachii)

Raise the arms backwards (retroversion):

  • Deltoid (M. deltoideus)
  • Broad back muscle (M. trapezius)
  • Large round muscle (M. teres major)

Turning the arms outwards (external rotation):

  • Deltoid (M. deltoideus)
  • Underbird muscle (M. infraspinatus)
  • Small round muscle (M. teres minor)

Turning the arms inwards (internal rotation):

  • Deltoid (M. deltoideus)
  • Subscapular muscle (subscapularis muscle)
  • Large pectoralis muscle (M. pectoralis major)
  • Broad back muscle (M. trapezius)
  • Large round muscle (M. teres major)

But our shoulder muscles are also in demand when we shrug our shoulders (trapezius muscle), do push-ups (small pectoral muscles) or step into the boxing ring (boxer muscle, serratus anterior muscle).

To protect the back, it is important to stabilize the trunk muscles. The torso tension shown here should be included in all your exercises to avoid stress.

Where is the shoulder muscles?

The shoulder muscles explicitly include all the muscles with which we move the arm and shoulder, thus causing an activity in the shoulder joint. In the broader sense but also muscles that connect the shoulder girdle with the trunk and neck. These muscle regions run on the front and back of the body in the upper trunk area and extend into the arms and neck and neck towards the head. The individual muscle groups (muscle lodges) are surrounded by connective tissue (fascia).Only this special packaging makes together with the tendons a fixation of the muscles on the bone and thus a power transmission possible. Bony attachments of the shoulder muscles are mainly the two bones of the shoulder girdle, scapula and clavicle, as well as the humerus, but also cervical vertebrae, spinous processes of the thoracic vertebrae and costal cartilage.

What problems can the shoulder muscles cause?

Tension in the shoulder area is a common problem. Triggers are usually unconscious malpositions, for example, when we pull the shoulders towards the ears in cold or stress. The pain can sometimes even into the head area and become chronic. But also by overexertion, malposition or after an injury develop complaints in the shoulder muscles. These express themselves in the form of:

  • Muscle aches
  • movement restrictions
  • Loss of strength or function
  • Paralysis or emotional disorders

If pain in the shoulder muscles suddenly sets in, the following causes are likely:

  • Muscle cramp
  • muscle strain
  • Hamstring
  • muscle tear
  • Sehnenriss
Typical injuries of shoulder muscles are the rotator cuff tear and the biceps tendon tear.


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