I have a client that was born with her left scapula up in the trapezius area of her neck. She also doesn't seem to have lats on that side either. She has very limited range of motion obviously in that shoulder and can't go vertical at all without a spot. Are there any suggestions you have on what I could do to help increase her ROM without further injury? And things that she should absolutely not be doing?
It is apparent that if this client has not already seen a physician, she should see one before you do much more in the way of exercise. You need to know 100 percent the extent of her condition and what her functional abilities are through specific muscle/joint testing. This is absolutely necessary before any exercise prescription should be made for this client.
The loss of this muscle would also mean the loss of the teres major, which is commonly referred to as the lats little helper because the two have the same action on the arm. The problem here is that studies have shown a measurable deficit in shoulder strength and function with loss of the latissimus dorsi muscle, so any exercises that have high shoulder demand would not be advised with this client.