Benefits: The benefits of scapular retraction are strengthening the muscle called the serratus anterior which is important in keeping the shoulder blade tight. If the muscles between the shoulder blade are not tight, it increases the risk of shoulder injuries to the swimmer. This exercise also prevents the “round-shoulder” look that swimmers often get. Core stabilization is also emphasized while standing on a Bosu Ball which creates an unstable surface.
Execution: Stand on a Bosu Ball with the dome side up. Hold the handles of two exercise bands out front. Raise the arms to shoulder level in front of you. Engage the shoulder blades by contracting and squeezing the muscles of the shoulder blades together. Open the bands out to the side of the body, keeping shoulder blades tight. Do not pull your arms behind you as you squeeze the muscles in between your shoulder blades. The purpose of the exercise is to isolate and strengthen these muscles. Keep your abdominal muscles tight as you squeeze the muscles of the shoulder blades so that your lower back does not arch. Return the bands to front position, shoulder level. Relax the shoulders. Repeat 6 – 8 sets each with 4 slow counts of the movement.