Contact us020 8368 6767Direction

What are Scapular Retractions and Why are They Important?

July 17, 2023
What are Scapular Retractions and Why are They Important?

Shoulder health can be greatly improved by incorporating scapular retractions into your fitness and exercise routines. Unfortunately, many regimens tend to overlook this crucial aspect. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, scapular retractions involve workouts that enhance the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. These workouts can help enhance body alignment and elevate the steadiness of the shoulder joint.

Anatomy and Function

Scapular retractions involve pulling the shoulder blades back and down towards the spine. Performing these exercises can aid in stabilising the shoulder joints, enhancing overall body alignment, and mitigating the risk of upper body injuries. The triangular-shaped scapula bone is situated on each side of the upper back and is crucial in enabling shoulder movement by linking the collarbone to the arm bone.

The rhomboids and middle trapezius muscles are engaged during the scapular retraction exercise. The scapulae are drawn closer to each other and downwards towards the spine by the coordinated effort of these muscles. Proper alignment between our head, neck, shoulders, and hips is crucial for optimal posture.

Scapular Retraction Exercise

Benefits of Scapular Retractions

These exercises hold significance as they enhance upper-body strength, reduce the likelihood of shoulder injuries, and improve posture. Enhancing the muscles in your upper back makes it possible to mitigate discomfort linked with incorrect posture and enhance flexibility.

One of the primary advantages of performing scapular retractions is that they facilitate the expansion of the chest region, thereby enhancing the individual’s respiratory capacity. This is especially advantageous for sports enthusiasts who need a significant amount of endurance in their cardiovascular system. Furthermore, scapular retractions aim to work out the rhomboids and trapezius muscles that usually don’t receive enough attention in typical upper-body exercise routines.

Incorporating scapular retractions exercises into your workout routine can also help to prevent shoulder injuries by improving shoulder blade stability. Scapular stability can be achieved by reinforcing the muscles responsible for sustaining accurate positioning during such actions, which can be accomplished through scapular retractions.

How to Perform Scapular Retractions

To perform scapular retractions, begin by standing or sitting tall with your arms at your sides. Next, draw your shoulder blades down and together towards your spine while keeping your chest open and lifted. Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing and repeating for several repetitions. As you get stronger, you can add resistance by holding light weights or resistance bands in each hand while performing the exercise.

Scapular Retractions and Protraction

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Performing scapular blade retraction is an important workout routine that can help you stabilising your scapulae and enhance your overall body posture. However, it has been observed that people doing this exercise for the first time can make certain mistakes. One frequently made error is the failure to activate the appropriate muscles while performing the workout. Many individuals concentrate on retracting their shoulder blades instead of activating their mid-back muscles.

Your shoulders should remain relaxed and down while you perform this exercise. Also, ensure you don’t round your upper back or overextend your neck.

Lastly, don’t rush through the scapular blade retraction exercises; instead, take your time to perfect each move correctly.


Scapular retractions are an essential exercise that targets the scapular retraction muscles. This category encompasses the collection of muscles comprising the rhomboids, mid-trapezius, and lower-trapezius. These workout routines aim to enhance and secure the muscles encompassing the shoulders and upper region of the back. Implementing this practise can enhance your stance, alleviate discomfort in the shoulder region, and thwart physical harm. If you want any assistance in this workout, you can call Southgate physio. We offer state-of-the-art physiotherapy treatment, and our trained personnel are there to help in every step so that you can do your workout perfectly to enjoy optimal health benefits.

If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0208 3686767 or emailing us at

Physiotherapy Services We Offer

Our clinic offers a wide range of treatments that are all recommended and tailored to everyone who comes and visits us. Our range of treatments complements the body and mind, helping to keep you pain and injury-free, delivering preventative measures to maintain your well-being and enhance your performance levels.

Our main aim is to restore your personal well-being so you can enjoy an active, healthy, and pain-free life. Click on any of the services to find out a little more about each treatment and understand if it might be right for you.

To book your physiotherapy appointment, simply contact us, give our expert therapists a call on 02083686767 or email us on or have a visit to our Southgate Physio clinic in North London.

Special Offer Alert!

Contact us to grab the below offer!

Revitalise your body and reclaim your vitality with our exclusive offer: Get 6 sessions of physiotherapy for the price of just 5 sessions!
(all 6 sessions to be used within 3 months from the date of purchase)

Book Now