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Shoulder Blade Push Ups: Great Upper Back Exercise

Shoulder Blade Push Ups

Today I want to show you some good videos that I found on how to do shoulder-blade push ups properly. I like to recommend these specific upper back exercises for people wanting to improve their neck and upper back posture and avoid a pain between their shoulder blades.

Correcting your spinal posture can help reduce excessive strain and pressure on the muscles, joints and nerves that support your neck, shoulders and upper back area. Find out one of the best and safest exercises to get a stronger upper back and shoulder girdle today.

How to Do a Shoulder Blade Push-Up

This upper back exercise is also known as scapula push ups, serratus anterior push ups or shoulder-blade push ups.

There are three levels of difficulty for beginners to advanced athletes:

  1. Resting on your elbows is the easiest way to start the posture exercise
  2. A normal push up position on the palms of your hands is the next hardest
  3. Resting your legs on a gym (Pilates) ball is the most difficult way to do a shoulder-blade push up

Easy Level

The first exercise video is the easiest. You can start on your knees or toes. Rest on your elbows and slowly fall down between your shoulder blades and push up and round your upper back spine like a cat.

Advanced Level

The second exercise video is the most difficult level to perform. Start with your body resting on a gym/physio/Pilates inflatable ball. In a push up position fall down and up between the scapula bones to exercise the rhomboids and serratus anterior muscles. The ball movement makes your core muscles work harder to keep your balance.

The Correct Technique

Key points to remember when doing this scapula rehabilitation exercise are:

  • Keep your neck in a neutral position: Don’t arch your neck when tired
  • Slowly is better: Count to 5 on the way down and 5 on the way up
  • Start with your shoulders down: Don’t exercise with shrugged shoulders
  • Only do as many as you feel you can: Maybe 3, maybe 20 but do them right not just to reach a number.

Why I like Shoulder Blade Push-Ups So Much

As a chiropractor treating spines, I like exercises to improve posture. This posture exercise targets the typically weak posture muscles in your upper back. This group of muscle is called your lower scapular stabilisers.

I find doing these upper back exercises helps to strengthen the serratus anterior muscle and rhomboids.

Doing this movement daily can give you a good middle-back and upper-back posture, which is more natural than a forced military posture. A good push up workout should be normal pushups for chest and these serratus anterior push ups to create muscle balance between the chest and back.

Conditions This Exercise Could Help

Some of the conditions or symptoms that could be improved doing regular shoulder blade push-ups are:

  • Winged scapula
  • Forward drawn posture
  • Postural fatigue
  • Weak back muscles
  • Weak throwing strength
  • Poor shoulder movement pattern

Upper Back ExercisesIf you would like a more comprehensive shoulder rehabilitation programme and pain relief then have a look at Tim Allardyce’s shoulder exercise program. Tim goes into a lot more detail on all the different ways to fix shoulder pain.

So if you want a better spinal posture compared to that bad slouched computer hunched look. If you want a stronger thoracic spine and if you want a good upper back exercise then you can try out the shoulder blade push ups.

Image Credit: Some rights reserved by Official U.S. Navy Imagery

  • elizabeth

    I have spondalitise in my neck but now I get a bad burning pain just below my shoulder blades I think it is my musells my posture is not very good I tend to hunch my shouders I am retired and 68 years hope you can advise me how to relieve the pain

  • Nicola

    I’ve just started a job and I’m standing at a workstation for 10 hours packing products and have pain at the top of my back and left shoulder

  • I have started to get pain just below the shoulder blades..mid back area. This doesnt affect me during my working day, but more when I lay down at night while I’m in bed. It can wake me out of my sleep and I must get up to relieve it. Help please. ..
    Kind regards.

  • Hi Emily, an increased kyphosis in your thoracic spine will cause you to not be able to move your shoulder blade nicely on your ribs. Means the shoulder muscles will tighten and ache in that area and possibly into your neck. I would also recommended looking at rotator cuff muscle exercises to ease upper back ache. Hope you feel better soon. Is the kyphosis an age related change?

  • Emilygilchrist416

    i have kyphosis of the spine and am always getting upper back pain. Feels like my back is collapsing and cant stand for any length of time. Pain will come and I just cannot function at all until it goes away