Scapular Wall Slides Exercise

Posted on 29 Dec 2011 15:25

The scapular walls slide is an upper body exercise which promotes scapula stability while moving the shoulders through a large range of motion. They help to promote the proper scapular stabilizer muscles, especially the lower traps and are often used as part of rehabilitation for shoulder injuries with scapular dyskinesis. Proper functioning of the scapular stabilizers is important for scapulohumeral rhythm, glenohumeral movement and health. This exercise helps combat the effects of upper trap and rhomboid dominance. They can be performed standing or seated.

Use as part of a dynamic mobility and warm up routine, to promote upper body movement and health. In this instance stability and mobility go hand in hand. If you have a shoulder injury and/or suspect shoulder dysfunction or scapular dyskinesis, see a professional physical therapist before attempting to integrate this and other rehabilitation exercises. Do not perform this exercise if you currently have a rotator cuff injury.


Scapular, Shoulder


1. Stand1 with your upper back, glutes, and heels against a wall.

2. Bend your arms to ninety degrees and raise them so that your upper arms are parallel with the ground and the back of your wrists and elbows are in contact with the wall. You scapula should be retracted and depressed.

3. Slowly extend your elbows to bring your hands up over your head, while trying to keep your elbows in contact with the wall and while keeping your upper body in contact with the wall.

4. Raise your arms as high as your flexibility will allow while maintaining contact with the wall. This can be very difficult and uncomfortable but range of motion should increase over time, there is no need to force or rush it. Pause at the top.

5. Reverse the motion and bring your arms slowly back down to the starting position, again, maintaining elbow and wrist contact with the wall. While lowering, concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades (scapulae) down and squeeze at the bottom.

Scapular Wall Slides Video


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