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Exercise and Fitness

Movement of the Month: Scaption (The Ultimate Shoulder Exercise)

Anthony Ricci | Exercise Specialist
/ May 4, 2023
Scaption Exercise

Here is an exercise that offers the unique ability to enhance a tremendous amount of aspects for the shoulder joint. This exercise is known as scaption, and it will be the main focus of today’s reading.

The Ultimate Shoulder Exercise

Scaption has been identified to strengthen the rotator cuff, improve muscle function, promote healthy movement patterns, increase shoulder stability, and even prevent injuries. If this list of benefits weren’t enough, scaption can also be used to determine if there are imbalances or injury concerns. Performing this exercise will proficiently demonstrate if the shoulder blades are functioning properly as well as promoting proper posture.

A diagram of the should muscles
The shoulder muscles
There is also correlation between the proficiency of scaption and the ability to effectively perform pressing and lateral movements with the shoulder joint (bench press/push-ups/front shoulder raises). Since scaption creates scapular retraction, this exercise will develop necessary strength in the thoracic region (middle back), which can significantly improve faulty posture.

How to Perform Dumbbell Scaption

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Ensure shoulders are pulled back and down (tall upright posture).
  • Hold a light dumbbell (1-5 lbs) in each hand with palms in neutral position.
  • Engage core and glutes.
  • Raise both dumbbells at a 45 degree angle, creating a Y with your arms.
  • Slowly lower dumbbells back to starting position.
  • Repeat 8 – 12 times.
Man performing dumbbell scaption
Dumbbell scaption
Wondering if this exercise is appropriate for you? Not sure where to start or how to fit it into your current routine? Or maybe you’d like to learn about variations and alternative movements? Please reach out to your Exercise Specialist for assistance or if you have any questions or concerns.
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