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Shoulder Blade Squeezes (Scapular Retraction)

The goal of shoulder blade squeezes is to decrease the rounding of the shoulders. To start, sit or stand as straight as possible with your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Pull your elbows back in a rowing motion and squeeze your shoulder blades together. You might notice that your shoulders are flexing up toward your ears in a shrug-like position - try to avoid this. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed and only move through the range of motion you can comfortably complete. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

You can also do this exercise with an elastic band, which can be purchased at any sporting goods store. First, wrap the band around a sturdy object at waist level, then grab each end of the band. With your arms at your side, bend your elbows to 90 degrees, then pull the band back to move your shoulder blades toward each other. Return to the starting position and repeat 8 to 12 times.

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