Pectoralis minor tightness coupled with poor scapular control often leads to postural dysfunction and shoulder problems. Improving scapular stabilizer activation and shoulder alignment will reduce rotator cuff strain and prevent injuries commonly attributed to overhead activity.

Begin in a supine position on a long foam roller with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Position the arms overhead in full shoulder flexion. Next, slowly pull the elbows down and back as if sliding them into the back pockets.

Squeeze and hold this position for 2-3 seconds and then return to the overhead position. Perform 1-2 sets of 10 repetitions. You may advance to light hand held weights as indicated.

This is an excellent exercise that can be integrated as part of a warm-up/movement prep session as well as used in recovery and the cool-down portion of a program to address soft tissue tightness in the chest, facilitate proper posture and encourage scapular retraction and depression.

I often use this exercise in combination with pec minor myofascial release and thoracic spine extension mobilization on the roller. It is a staple in all of my rehab and prehab programs with all of my throwers and overhead athletes.

Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor at the Athletic Performance Center in Raleigh, NC. Brian presents nationally at several professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more cutting edge training information, subscribe to his monthly Training & Sports Medicine Update at


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