If your shoulder mobility is the pits, meet the ‘scapular push-up’

After a week when I’ve skipped a yoga class (or two, or three), the simple act of raising my arms over my head feels near impossible. The shoulder tension sparked by #desklife is all too real, and something Casey Chiro, DC, says is best solved by everyone’s favorite strength training move. The one, the only push-up. Or, more accurately—a scapular push-up.

“The Serratus anterior plays a major role in helping you raise your arms above shoulder height,” writes Dr. Chiro in an Instagram post, describing the muscle at the vertebral border of scapula. “It also helps stabilize the shoulder, protects against neck pain, and helps you hold good posture.” Scapular push ups summons the strength of the Serratus anterior, and helps the shoulder work with both strength and a complete range of motion. In other words, it’s a win-win.

Ready to learn the best move out there for improving shoulder mobility? The scapula push up has you covered.

 

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The Serratus Anterior plays a major role in helping you raise your arms above shoulder height. It also helps stabilize the shoulder, protects against neck pain, and helps you hold good posture. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Scap Push Ups effectively recruit the Serratus Anterior, and strength of this muscle is essential for optimal shoulder performance. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Here’s How To Perform Scap Push Ups⁠⠀ 1⃣Start with your hands on a wall, bench, or floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders ⁠⠀ 2⃣Maintain a neutral spine ⁠⠀ 3⃣Engage your core and glutes so hips don’t sink⁠⠀ 4⃣Keeping your arms extended, pinch your shoulder blades together⁠⠀ 5⃣Retract and protract your shoulder blades, lowering your body slightly. The range of motion is small. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 👉🏼 The more vertical you are, the less challenging the move. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Tag 2 friends to remind them to work on their posture! ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #thoracicspine @[email protected] ⁠⠀ ⁠#shoulderhealth #shouldermobility #roundedshoulders #scapularstability #funnctionalbodybuilding #prehab #thoracicmobility #foamrolling #athletictraining #correctiveexercise #mobilitytraining #mobilitywod #exercisetherapy #sportsrehab #functionalfitness⁣⠀⁠⠀ #chiropractor #sportsinjury #chiropractic #chiro #physio #backpain #rehabilitation #injuryprevention #sportsmedicine #sportstherapy #athletictraining #sportsperformance #rangeofmotion #strengthandconditioning⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀

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scapula push-up

Below, you’ll find Dr. Chiro’s instructions. She advises starting at the wall, then slowly making your way to a bench then the floor as you get stronger. No matter what surface you choose, repeat three sets of 10 reps. 

1. Start with your hands on a wall, bench, or floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders.

2. Keep your spine neutral.

3. Engage your core and glutes so hips don’t sink⁠.

4. Keeping your arms extended, pinch your shoulder blades together.

5. Retract your shoulder blades by drawing them together, then detract them by pulling them apart. Lower your body slightly. Push back up.

Still confused about the right way to do a normal push up? Check it out:

We found a 2-for-1 move that stretches and strengthens your shoulders simultaneously. And these exercises are designed to ease the pain of rounded shoulders