Standing Scapular Retraction with External Rotation


The scapular retraction with external rotation exercise is a postural strengthening exercise that works your shoulder blade muscles. These muscles are important for shoulder stability and maintaining an upright posture.

Set up

To begin, stand tall with your feet hip width apart. You can also do this exercise seated if preferred.  Bend your elbows to 90 degrees by your sides with your hands pointing straight in front of you and your thumbs up.

Your wrists should be flush with your forearms so that you’re not flexing or extending your wrists.


Breathe out as you rotate your arms outwards by squeezing your shoulder blades together, keeping your abdominals engaged.

Breathe in as you return to the starting position with control.


  • It’s important not to let your shoulder blades shrug upward. Keep them squeezing inwards and down.
  • Stay within a pain free range of motion.
  • Make sure you keep your elbows close to your sides as you do this exercise.  Don’t let them flare out.
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