SAFE TO PERFORM 6–8 weeks postsurgery and beyond PURPOSE brings awareness to the scapula musculature while strengthening the core SETUP Sit at the front edge of a chair with your feet parallel and hip-width apart on the floor and pelvis neutral. Extend your arms at shoulder height, palms facing in. Keep your shoulders stabilized, neck long and chest open. (Optional: Place a pillow behind your back, as shown.)
SCAPULA PROTRACTION AND RETRACTION Photo Gallery
1 . Inhale, moving your shoulder blades forward a few inches, imagining that you’re hugging a child.
2 . Exhale, gently retracting your shoulder blades to return to the starting position. TEACHER TIP Place your hands on the rhomboids/middle trapezius to make sure your client activates these muscles and not the biceps.
GENERAL GUIDELINES PROPS chair without armrests; light resistance band; pillow (optional); medium ball (optional) REPS Start with two sets of 3–5 and gradually increase to three sets of 5–8.
MODIFICATIONS If you have back issues, work with your spine imprinted, and/or place a bed pillow behind your back (not your neck) for support. Place a ball between your knees to activate your pelvic floor.
TIPS • Make sure that you’re wearing a lymphedema sleeve if you have lymphedema, and have received a DEXA for bone density screening after systemic treatment, since osteoporosis is a risk factor after systemic treatment.
• Do these exercises 3–4 times per week, or as recommended by your physician, gradually increasing your range of motion and reps.
• Work in conjunction with your rehabilitation professional to ensure that you’re on the right track.
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