The Movement Corner
The Movement Corner
deconstructing the human movement experience

Example Picture Analysis

Common Compensations

  • Discusses why a poor movement pattern may occur

  • Provides rationale regarding proximal and distal contributions to poor movement


  • Discusses the movement
  • Analyzes specific muscles
  • Describes 'normal' requirements

Poor Spinal Mobility leading to rib pain

Cat/Cow is a standard exercise to help improve thoracic mobility. Unfortunately, many people do not receive adequate instruction on the movements and end of performing the exercise improperly. In the left picture above, the woman moves excessively from her upper/mid back region. The red arrow indicates clear stiffness or a lack of spine flexion. In the right picture, a clear hinge point is noted in the junction between the thoracic and lumbar spines. This hinge point occurs because the mid thoracic spine does not want to move into extension. Retraining how to perform the proper movement included engaging the transversus abdominus (TrA) and extending through the upper chest to restore thoracic mobility. 

Superior/Anterior Glide Creating Shoulder Pain 

Anterior and superior glide syndromes are two of the most common movement impairments. In both instances the stabilizing effect of the rotator cuff is not counterbalancing other dominant muscles groups. In this picture, the two blue lines indicate a relative anterior position of the humerus compared to the acromion. The woman presented with dominant pectoralis and deltoid muscles with limited stability of the subscapularis and supraspinatus respectively. In other words, the pectoralis and deltoid prematurely activate displacing the shoulder forward. Treatments focused on performing shoulder movements while keeping the humerus centered in the glenohumeral joint.

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Improper Vs. Proper Cervical Position During a Plank

Planks are a standard core workout requiring full body stability. In a standard plank, the entire body should be in a straight line. In the picture above, notice the head position leaning forward. This posture is a sign of weak deep anterior (front) neck flexors. Additionally, the shoulders are both winging excessively indicating Serratus Anterior muscle weakness or motor control deficits.

Shoulder Anterior Glide in A Frequent Dislocator


Side planks are known to be great for the obliques and hip stabilizers; however, the shoulder stability component is often forgotten. In this picture, the left shoulder slides forward in the weight bearing position. The excessive divot as seen by the green arrow, indicates the shoulder is positioned forward in the joint. This shoulder positioning is indicative of posterior rotator cuff and posterior scapular muscle weakness.