Scapular Retraction "I" Exercise on Mat with Weight

Equipment
Mat,Pillow,Towel Roll,Free Weights

Purpose

The “I” Exercise on Mat is designed to strengthen your rhomboid muscles, which are essential for pulling your shoulder blades together and helping to maintain proper posture. Proper posture of your mid back region helps to prevent thoracic spine compression fractures.

Set up

Grab 2 to 3 lb weights for each hand. Get into position by lying on your stomach with a pillow lengthwise under your chest and a small towel roll under your forehead. Your arms should be positioned in an “I” by your sides to start with your thumbs pointed down toward the floor.

If you find that this exercise is too easy and does not cause muscle fatigue, you can progress the exercise by increasing your weight.

Movement

To begin, breathe in. Breathe out as you lift both arms up a few inches from your initial starting position by squeezing your shoulder blades together. The movement should be initiated by your shoulder blade muscles. Keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged. Do not arch your lower back as you lift your arms up. Return your arms to the starting position as you breathe in. Do not lift your arms above the plane of your body.

Tips

  • Keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged. Do not arch your lower back as you lift your arms up.
  • Do not lift your arms above the plane of your body.
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