Saturday, November 5, 2022

Scapular Training for the UB and the GB Jingjin

Scapular training is an essential component of bodyweight calisthenics training and qigong training. Not only do you want proper scapular stabilization when you are hanging or reaching overhead, but the scapulae need to have controlled movement to increase power with things like pulling exercises. The scapular movement also needs to coordinate with other muscles for efficient whole body movement. Let's look at this coordinated movement in relationship to the the Urinary Bladder and the Gallbladder channel sinews (jingjin).

UB Jingjin: Superficial Branch.
Deep Branch includes
spinal erectors.
A simple pull up serves as an example of the movement pattern of the UB jingjin. The lower trapezius and the latissimus dorsi both depress the scapulae and this motion occurs with other muscles of the back such as the erector spinae. If you are bringing the chest to the bar, this is especially apparent. Another example would be taiji when in mountain climbers stance. The chest would be up and there is a coordinated activation of the Urinary Bladder jingjin which activates the scapular depressors, spinal erectors and gluteus maximus.

GB Jingjin
Other pulling exercises would highlight the movement pattern of the GB jingjin. The same scapular muscles would be activated, but they would coordinate this activity along with the obliques and the hip abductors. The human flag would be a great example (see video below for an example). Also movements that would involve rotation such as swinging from monkey bars would require pulling motions engaging the scapular depressors along with trunk rotation activating the obliques. 

So these same muscles can be part of a global movement pattern of different channels. And injury of these muscles could be associated with different channels. Local treatment may involve motor entry points (MEP) and/or myofascial trigger points (MTrP) of these same muscles, but how you link this local treatment can change depending on the channel involvement. Check out the video I did to explore this dynamic.

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