Seated Scap Squeeze

Many shoulder injuries are a result of poor Scapular Humeral Rhythm.  That is simply the relationship between the motion of the shoulder blade and the humeral head.  One simple exercise that anyone can do at work or at home is what we call “Chair Doug’s” or “Seated Scap Squeeze”.  This exercise will help strengthen the scapular muscles and help align the relationship between the Scapula and Humeral head to relieve any undo pressure on the multiple tendons and muscles that travel thru that small space.  As pictured below, the patient is seated in a chair with a small pillow or rolled up beach towel in between the shoulder blades.  Simply relax your neck and shoulders and squeeze your shoulder blades back around the pillow/towel.  Hold that contraction for 10-15sec—-10x total.  A verbal cue we use a lot is to “try to tuck your elbows into your back pockets”.  This allows the patient to actively squeeze the shoulder blades together without activating the Upper Trap/Cervical muscles.  If you happen to have a chair with arm rests you can also push your hands against the rail while squeezing back adding another isometric contraction to the exercise.  Enjoy!