Upper trap dominance and kyphosis are common issues that contribute to scapular dyskinesia and postural dysfunction, as well as predisposing clients to injuries with overhead and repetitive activities. This exercise is designed to promote proper posture, encourage scapular depression/retraction and improve scapular stability.
Execution: Set up the cable attachments on a functional trainer or cable column in such a way that the handles are at least shoulder width apart and above the shoulders. Stand with soft bent knees and mild hip flexion while maintaining a neutral spine position. Grasp the left handle with the right hand and vice versa.
Next, slowly pull the hand down and back to ward the back pockets while focusing on pinching the shoulder blades together. Pause at the bottom of the movement, and then return to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions and repeat for 2-3 sets.
Note that the weight should not be too heavy as to avoid encouraging trunk flexion or momentum to move the arms back. If a functional training or cable column is not available, consider using tubing or theraband.
1) Increasing time under tension (slower cadence)
2) Perform the exercise in tall kneeling position
3) Perform with a single arm
Application: Improving and facilitating this scapular position/activation will help reduce faulty scapular movement patterns, improve posture, and promote enhanced scapular stability. In turn, this will reduce overuse injuries commonly seen in overhead athletes and workers doing repetitive overhead motions/lifting. Balancing pushing exercises in a training routine is essential, and this will serve as a solid ‘go to’ exercise to improve posterior chain strength and alignment.