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Stretching exercise series: Episode 3 – Scapular retraction

This is part 3 in our 6-part stretching series dedicated to helping those who spend many hours a day seated in front of a computer. Episode one focused on the chin tuck and episode two introduced the corner or doorway stretch.

This week’s stretch also focuses on the upper extremities and can be performed in the comfort of your own home or in the office! This stretch was selected with help from Adam Diver, a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, who said stretching helps to keep muscles and connective tissue flexible throughout the day.

As always, please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

strething exercises scapular 1

Step 1. Stand or sit upright with good posture. Make sure that your head is up and your shoulders are tall.

stretching exercise scapular 3


stetching exercises scapular 2Step 2. Slightly elevate both of your shoulders, then pinch or squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold the squeeze for 3-4 seconds, then relax.

Repeat 3 sets of 10 repetitions of this stretch.

“Much like the doorway or corner stretch, this stretch or exercise reduces a rounded or forward shoulder posture while improving the strength in your postural shoulder blade muscles,” Adam said.

Next time, we’ll begin to work on stretching out the back and lower extremities.

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