Everything you need to know about scapular protractions

Scapular protractions (Photo via Gorrila Freak/Unsplash)
Scapular protractions (Photo via Gorrila Freak/Unsplash)

Have you ever wondered about scapular protraction during your shoulder days? Or to improve the mobility and flexibility of your shoulders? Well, it’s important to start including such movements in the shoulder routine to ensure the muscles and joints can continue to remain strong over time.

What are scapular protractions?

Scapular protractions (Photo via Nigel Msipa/Unsplash)
Scapular protractions (Photo via Nigel Msipa/Unsplash)

Scapular protraction is the movement of the shoulder blade (scapula) in which it moves away from the spine and towards the front of the body. This movement is commonly used in exercises that target the chest and shoulders, such as push-ups and bench presses.

Scapular protraction is important for proper shoulder function and can help prevent shoulder injuries. It also plays a role in many daily activities, such as reaching overhead and pushing objects away from the body.

To perform scapular protraction, you can start by standing with your arms at your sides and relaxing your shoulder blades. Then, imagine you are trying to push something away from your body and allow your shoulder blades to move towards the front of your body.

You can also perform scapular protraction exercises using resistance bands or weights to help strengthen the muscles involved in this movement.

Benefits of shoulder protractions

Shoulders (Photo via Scott Webb/Unsplash)
Shoulders (Photo via Scott Webb/Unsplash)

Shoulder girdle protraction can have several benefits for overall shoulder health and function, including:

Improved shoulder stability

Shoulder girdle protraction helps to improve the stability of the shoulder joint by engaging and strengthening the muscles that surround it.

Increased range of motion

By moving the shoulder blades away from the spine and towards the front of the body, shoulder girdle protraction can help to increase the range of motion in the shoulder joint.

Better posture

Regularly performing shoulder girdle protraction exercises can help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the shoulders and upper back.

Reduced risk of shoulder injuries

Strong and stable shoulder girdle muscles can help reduce the risk of shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears and shoulder impingement syndrome.

Improved performance in sports and other activities

Shoulder girdle protraction is a common movement in many sports and activities, such as tennis, basketball, and weightlifting. Improving shoulder girdle strength and stability can help to enhance performance in these activities.

Overall, incorporating shoulder girdle protraction exercises into your workout routine can help improve shoulder health, posture, and overall athletic performance.

Alternatives to shoulder protractions

Barbell rows (Photo via Victor Freitas/Unsplash)
Barbell rows (Photo via Victor Freitas/Unsplash)

There are several alternatives to shoulder girdle protraction exercises that can also help to strengthen the muscles involved in shoulder movement and stability.

Here are a few examples:

Shoulder blade squeezes

This exercise involves squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your arms at your sides. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds, then release and repeat for several reps.


Row exercises, such as seated rows, bent-over rows, and cable rows, involve pulling a weight towards your body while keeping your shoulders down and back. These exercises target the upper back and shoulder muscles, helping to improve shoulder stability.

Scapular push-ups

Scapular push-ups involve pushing your shoulder blades away from your spine while in a plank position. This exercise targets the serratus anterior, a muscle that helps stabilize the shoulder blade.

External rotations

External rotation exercises, such as band external rotations or cable external rotations, target the rotator cuff muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder joint.

Overhead press

Overhead press exercises, such as dumbbells or barbell overhead presses, help to strengthen the muscles involved in pushing overhead, including deltoids and trapezius muscles.

Incorporating a variety of exercises that target the muscles involved in shoulder movement and stability can help improve overall shoulder health and reduce the risk of injury.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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