Pull Day: Scapular Retraction


If you struggle with the connecting with your back muscles, this WOG post will  be for you.

The focus for this workout was to get a better mind muscle connection with my back. That has been my weak area with my training. It has improved over the past few months, but it’s still something that will take time to perfect! If you’re unfamiliar with what Scapular Retraction is, I urge you to familiarize yourself with it if you’re serious about training. Let me briefly explain. Your scapula is your “shoulder blade.” Scapular retraction refers to the inward movement of the scapaula towards the spine. Very important during lifts such as the bent over row & bench press! Here is a quick video that I posted to my Instagram about scapular retraction & a few exercises that you can work on in the gym.


Let’s apply this knowledge to the workout!


Banded Side to Side Steps: 30 total
Resistance Band (RB) Reverse Flies: 10
RB Overhead Adductions: 10
RB Shoulder Internal/External Rotations: 15 each
RB Shoulder Press: 15


Exercise #1: Bench Supported Unilateral Dumbbell (DB) Row

3×10 each arm
15-30s rest between arms

The goal for this whole workout is to work on connecting your mind with your muscles. Each exercise will be done will lighter weight, but the control & pace will create that muscle burn. Squeeze each rep for 3 seconds & slowly lower the weight for 3 seconds!

Exercise #2: Hammer Strength Decline Row

30s rest

Same idea! Squeeze for 3 seconds and lower the weight for 3 seconds. This exercise is where you can really use that “moonshape” motion that I explained in my Instagram video.

Exercise #3: Inclined Bench Supported Unilateral DB Row

3×10 each arm
15-30s rest between arms

Same game plan!

Exercise #4: Chest Supported DB Reverse Flies

30s rest

Keep that tempo going! This one will really target your rear delts and traps.

Exercise #5: Cable Y-Raises

30s rest

Same tempo! I wish I would have recorded one set to give you a video representation of this move. I’ll try to explain this as best as I can. Position the cable so that it is in line with your shoulders. Use a rope attachment for this exercise. Face towards the cable and raise the weight over your heads while simultaneously spreading the ropes apart. This creates that “Y.” The aspect you need to focus on is squeezing your traps and upper back muscles while resisting too much bend in your lower back. This will really test your shoulder mobility and give you a good idea how mobile your shoulders are! If you can’t fully bring the weight up and over your head without rounding your lower back, then take some time to work on improving your shoulder flexibility and mobility!


5-10 minute full body stretch


The goal for this post was to help you learn! Use this knowledge with this pull day & focus on retracting your scapulars. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or reach me on any one of my social medias! If you’re interested in working with me, click me & fill out my Let’s Get Fit form! Hope to hear from you soon (:



Consult a doctor before performing any of these exercises explained above. Physical activity is good for the body, but does raise the risk of serious health effects especially in those with CVD & other health relative issues that raise this risk.




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