Standing Scapular Retraction


The Scapular Retraction exercise is designed to strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades, leading to improved posture and decreasing the stress on your neck, shoulders and thoracic spine.

Set up

Get into a comfortable standing position with your feet hip width apart. You should be standing in good alignment with your shoulders stacked on top of your hips. Imagine that a string is pulling you upward, lengthening your spine.

You may also perform this exercise seated on a chair.


Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 5 seconds. You can pretend that you are trying to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades. Make sure the movement is coming from your shoulder blade muscles.


  • Make sure the movement is coming from your shoulder blade muscles.
  • Keep your lower abdominal muscles engaged, and avoid arching your low back or puffing your chest out as you perform the movement.
join us

Get early access

Join us and be among the first to experience our expert-curated exercise programs designed specifically for women with osteopenia and osteoporosis.
* We don't share your data. See our Privacy Policy
Check mark
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
We will contact you shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles in the Well Guide

Explore our exercises...

Scapular Retraction "I" Exercise over Ball with Weight

View exercise

Supine Shoulder Press

View exercise

Shoulder Abduction Wall Slides

View exercise

Prone Thoracic Extension with Scapular Retraction

View exercise