Scapular Wall Slide Technique

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Last week’s video of the week was the scapular wall slide.  After it was posted, I got quite a few questions in the comments section, so I figured I’d devote today’s blog to answering those questions.  In case you missed the original video, here it is again:

Q: In the wall slide, do you try to keep the wrists and back of the hands flush to the wall? I noticed that the demonstrator did not.

A: No, that’s not mandatory.  If someone lacks glenohumeral (shoulder ball-and-socket) range-of-motion or can’t effectively posterior tilt/depress the scapulae, it’d require extra arching of the lower back to get the hands flush to the wall.  I generally tell folks to focus solely on scapular movement; the hands-to-the-wall will come over time as flexibility improves.  Scapular wall slides can still be extremely valuable even if you can’t get your hands to the wall.

Q: Any advice on how much to let the small of the back round?

A: I’m assuming you mean “arch.”  My response would be that you should just set your body in “normal” alignment first, and then worry about the arm positioning.  Those with bigger butts may have a little bit more arching, but I don’t really worry too much about this, as I’m purely concerned with scapular movement.  It really doesn’t matter to me whether your feet are 2″ from the wall or 12″ as long as you’re getting your lower traps firing and opening up the pec, anterior delt, and subscapularis.