Learn about the muscles that retractor your scapula & how it relates to training!
Scapular retraction is the action of pulling both scapula closer together (towards the spine). This action helps in posture & movement. In posture the ideal position of the scapula is partially retracted because it keeps our shoulders from hunching over & it keeps your mid to upper spine in its nature curvature. Retraction also puts our arms in an ideal position to move optimally & it plays an important role in raising our arms above our head.
What primary muscles retract the scapula?
- Rhomboid Major/Minor, Middle Trapezius
So, how does this translate to the gym & athletics?
- The scapula retracts during the concentric contraction of all back exercises such as rows & pull downs in addition to the eccentric or lowering phase of chest exercises such as flyes & bench press. We also retract it during barbell back squats & when finishing deadlifts. In terms of sport specific motions, the scapula retracts during the cocking phase of throwing a baseball or football & rowing.
What happens if you have weak scapular retractors?
- The scapula can drift to the outside of our body away from the spine
- Neumann, Donald A. Kinesiology Of the Musculoskeletal System : Foundations for Physical Rehabilitation. 2016.
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