Stabilization is an important component of fitness that is frequently overlooked.
The scapular muscles are often neglected until you find yourself in physical therapy for shoulder, neck, or back pain.
Below are a few prone scapular exercises you can add at the end of your workout before you stretch.
- Roll up a hand towel and rest your forehead on it.
- Set up each exercise by contracting your abdominals in and pressing your shoulders down away from your ears (even when arms are in the ‘Y’ position).
- If you feel lower back pain in this prone position, try positioning a pillow under your hips.
- Raise arms slowly in position shown, hold for 1-3 seconds, then slowly lower arms.
- Your head rests on the towel during the entire exercise.
- Start all exercises with no added resistance and performing approximately 10-15 reps for 1-3 sets (up to 25 reps per set). Focus on the smaller, stabilizing muscles. Your bigger muscles will take over if you add in resistance (dumbbells) too quickly and cheat on your form.
- You can also perform this exercise unilaterally off a treatment table if form is compromised on floor.
Save yourself a future doctor’s visit and perform these exercises today.
It is always important to see your physician before starting any new exercise program.