Prone scapular retraction (Strength and mobility)

Prone scapular retraction (Strength and mobility)

What you should feel?? When performed correctly, you will feel the muscles of the mid and upper back working. You should not feel a strain in your neck.


  • Lying face down with a rolled towel underneath your forehead
  • Ensure your arms are straight beside you and fully relaxed
  • To perform, pinch your shoulder blades back and down together
  • Hold for allocated time and repeat
  • Ensure your arms are fully extended throughout
  • Should you experience lower back ache, place a pillow or towels underneath your stomach

Main muscles targeted:

  • Upper back muscles
  • Shoulder joint

Main benefits:

A combination of upper back strength and shoulder mobility, the prone scapular retraction is a great way to train the upper back to handle stresses and fatigue from many every day activities. This will help with your shoulder and scapular positioning which can also prevent acute and chronic pain in this area. It will take time for the muscles to get used to the exercise so persist and make sure you ask you therapist if there is any increased discomfort.