Fixing Upper Back Posture: Scapular Pushups

Plank with straight arms

The exercise of the moment is inspired by clients: scapular pushups. This exercise is especially useful for riders that have shoulders that roll or collapse forward, shoulder blades that poke out, or a tendency to throw your whole shoulders back while riding. The exercise strengthens the muscles that help your shoulder blades lie flat without effort on your back, which ultimately helps you sit straighter without the temptation to stiffen your upper back or throw your shoulders back, hollowing your lower back.

I call them ‘minis’ because I’ve noticed that when clients think of them as pushups, they seem intimidating, or they do a lot of bending the arms. The exercise is done in a pushup start position (really a plank), but other than that, it’s not really a pushup. You can also do it in a plank from your knees, or a plank with your legs on a fitness ball or stool if bearing your full body weight in a full plank position is not possible at this time for you.

What you do is start in a plank position, then drop your ribcage downward while drawing your shoulder blades together. Repeat until you feel a burn in the muscles around and under your shoulder blades. This is a small movement designed to help your body build the muscles that support better posture.

Link to Youtube video on scapular pushups.

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