How to Stretch Scapula for Relieving Shoulder Pain

If you are dealing with shoulder pain, then you may have considered stretching your scapula, which can offer significant relief when done properly. The scapula, also known as the shoulder blade, plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the shoulder joint, and stretching it can help alleviate pain and stiffness. In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to stretch your scapula to relieve shoulder pain.

Why Stretching Scapula is Important for Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can stem from a variety of issues, including poor posture, overuse, injury or a chronic condition. Stretching your scapula muscles can help address some of these underlying causes of pain and improve your range of motion. The scapula plays a crucial role in shoulder movement, and stretching it can help release tension, reduce pain, and prevent future injury.

How to Stretch Scapula?

Here are the top stretches for scapula to relieve shoulder pain:

1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze

The shoulder blade squeeze is a simple stretch that you can do while seated or standing. Here’s how:

  • Sit or stand up straight with your arms by your sides.
  • Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Release the squeeze and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

2. Doorway Stretch

The doorway stretch is another effective stretch that targets your scapula muscles. Here’s how:

  • Stand in a doorway and hold onto the doorframe with both hands.
  • Step forward with one foot and gently lean forward into the doorframe.
  • You should feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other side for 2-3 reps.

3. Seated Twist

The seated twist is a great stretch for your upper back and scapula muscles. Here’s how:

  • Sit up straight in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Place your left hand on your right knee.
  • Twist your torso to the right and hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side for 2-3 reps.

4. Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a yoga pose that stretches your entire back, including your scapula muscles. Here’s how:

  • Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Slowly walk your hands out in front of you while lowering your hips towards your heels.
  • You should feel a stretch in your upper back and shoulders.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 2-3 reps.

When to Stretch Scapula?

You can stretch your scapula muscles at any time of the day, but ideally, it’s best to stretch them after a workout or as a part of your regular stretching routine. If you are experiencing pain or stiffness in your shoulders, then stretching your scapula muscles can help relieve the symptoms.

Precautions to take while Stretching Scapula?

Here are some precautions to take while stretching your scapula:

  • Never force a stretch, and always listen to your body.
  • If you are experiencing pain that gets worse with stretching, then stop the stretch and consult with a doctor or physiotherapist.
  • Always warm up before stretching to prevent injury and increase your range of motion.
  • Never hold your breath while stretching, and always breathe deeply and evenly.
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries, then make sure to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist before stretching.


Stretching your scapula muscles is a simple and effective way to alleviate shoulder pain and stiffness. Incorporating these stretches into your daily routine can help improve your range of motion, prevent future injuries, and relieve pain. Remember to always take precautions while stretching, listen to your body, and consult with a healthcare professional if you experience any pain or discomfort.


Q. Can stretching scapula cause any injury?

A. Stretching scapula muscles if done properly, can help alleviate pain and stiffness. But if overdone or not done with proper stretching techniques, it can lead to injury or other complications.

Q. How long should I hold a stretch?

A. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat for 2-3 reps. Never hold a stretch for too long, as it can lead to injury.

Q. Is it necessary to stretch scapula before a workout?

A. It is always recommended to warm up before a workout, and stretching your scapula muscles can be a part of your warm-up routine.

Q. Can stretching scapula muscles improve posture?

A. Yes, stretching scapula muscles can help improve your posture by releasing tension and tightness in your upper back and shoulders.

Q. Are there any other exercises that can also help relieve shoulder pain?

A. Yes, besides stretching scapula, exercises like rotator cuff strengthening, shoulder external rotation, and lateral raises can also help relieve shoulder pain.


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