How to retract my scapula?

On YouTube people often show retraction in such a way that it creates an ass-crack in between the shoulder blades, but when I try to retract like them, I retract but such retraction really limits the range of motion (while maintaining such retraction, you can't squeeze the chest when dumbbells moving upward to near the lockout position and motion of dumbbells get limited towards this downward position)

Please Explain the correct way to retract the shoulder blades.

Path of motion of dumbbells

Flat bench What is the correct path of motion of dumbbells?

Is it an arch in which dumbbells's motion starts just below the nipples and reaches the middle chest at top position?

Incline at 45°

I don't have any idea please say something about the motion of path in this case and I get a good amount of stimulation in front delts and pain in left humerous just below the lateral head.

  • Do we have to arch in incline?
  • Should the shoulder blades be retracted in this case?

1 Answer 1


How to retract my scapula?

On a Bench Press, you are supposed to retract the scapula in order to protect your shoulder joints. You do that in such a way as you already described. I think the cue of "squezing your chest" is often used but most certainly misunderstood just as often. The ending point of the upward motion in a Bench Press is when your arms are (almost) fully straight while keeping your scapula retracted. If your shoulders round over (and move away from the bench for example) your front delt is taking a lot of the load.


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