RPM Physiotherapy

Exercise of the Week – The Scapular Retraction


25% of my business is dealing with shoulder pain. Almost 100% of those shoulders have a posture component, especially now with the time we spend on smart phones, computers and driving. In most people, the chest is tight pulling their shoulders forward. This causes the shoulder muscles to work from suboptimal positions and nerves and blood vessels to be compressed.

The very first thing I do when rehabilitating a shoulder is to address positioning of the scapula (shoulder blade). Today Josh is demonstrating a scapular retraction. This is key in establishing good shoulder positioning and a stable base for strengthening.

This exercise is ideal for clients experience shooting pain or numbness down the arm, individuals with unstable shoulders or anyone with poor posture.


1. Stand in an athletic stance, chest upright and chin tucked in.
2. Use a resistance band at approximately waist height and pull back aiming your wrists towards your hips.
3. Keep your wrists in line with your forearms. Do not let them collapse inward.
4. Maintain length between your shoulders and your ears. DO NOT shrug your shoulders.
5. Most importantly, every time you pull back, imagine there is a $100 bill on your spine and the only way to catch it is to squeeze your shoulder blades together.

For further information on shoulder strengthening, please feel free to talk with one of our therapists or book an appointment.

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