I thought this was a very interesting blog post about the position-stance of a group of trainers on shoulder packing and similar phenomena. What are your thoughts on end-range of motion techniques? Do you ever cue them for yoga or weightlifting(draw belly in, shoulders down and back, neck tucked)? Benefits for certain clients or useful for physical therapists?
These articles really dig deep into shoulder packing and caution against how it should be cued. Shoulder packing does not immobilize the scapulae down and back but rather controls it so that other muscles do not dominate the movement. When the scapulae are in control and time-synchronized with the upper back muscles, the humerus is more stabilized in the glenoid cavity.
Scooby suggests doing shoulder packing for chest exercises improves the angle and leverage for a stronger lift.
I have learned a lot from these few articles; mainly that shoulder packing is a dynamic movement and focusing on it to the point of movement restriction can create its own problems.
However I still would like to see a double blind study of different shoulder packing approaches.
As with everything there is an extreme: how much packing is too much packing? In other words what happens if you constantly practice a down and back posture? My fear is that mobility will be less functional if we use shoulder packing as a default posture even when we are not lifting loads, and the muscles that hold the scapulae in place will become tight and sore. For this reason I would suggest adding some exercises that allow you to safely relax or elevate the scapulae. Do you agree or disagree?