T Nation

One Arm DB Row and Scapular Retraction


#1

Hi,

Months back I posted asking for advice on a few topics, including what to do with a 20kg Dumbbell. After getting some insightful info, I have since realized that best and most suggested advice -get more weight- was pretty spot on.

OK, preamble over! The question:

When people talk about getting scapular retraction (which I understand as putting your shoulders back and down) do they mean:

A)In the process of the movement your shoulders move back and down
or B) You retract your shoulders and then get rowing?

Any help would be muchly appreciated!

And if I could add one more question....

I'm pretty happy doing bodyweight stuff for my shoulders, triceps and chest (maybe getting a weight vest at some point) but was told that relatively light dumbbell shoulder presses are good for shoulder health. Any thoughts?

All the best,
Dev.


#2

sorry, I forgot to mention in the body of the post that I’m asking about scapular retraction during the one arm dumbbell row.
Thanks.


#3

It can mean either option. The crucial part is that your shoulder blades actually move / your mid back contracts. Vic Costa likes to initiate the row by retracting his shoulder blade and then hold it there until you go down again.


#4

Nighthawkz,

Thanks for the info, that’s great. All clear.

Those are some pretty impressive skills on display in your little animated gif icon!

Does anyone have an opinion on the need for DB shoulder presses for shoulder health (as an accompaniment to pushups/dips/widegrip inverted rows)?


#5

[quote]devsa wrote:
Nighthawkz,

Thanks for the info, that’s great. All clear.

Those are some pretty impressive skills on display in your little animated gif icon!

Does anyone have an opinion on the need for DB shoulder presses for shoulder health (as an accompaniment to pushups/dips/widegrip inverted rows)?[/quote]

I’ll probably have to change my avi soon… Way too many people seem to think that’s actually me! It’s a dude called Damien Walters, a former gymnast/professional stuntman.

You don’t ‘need’ shoulder pressing from a health perspective, but handstand pushups are a badass skill with no necessary equipment.


#6

Technically “retraction” is just pulling them back. “Protraction” is pushing them forward.

Bringing your shoulders up is “elevation”; think of shrugging your shoulders. The opposite of that is “depression”, which means to pull them down to your waist.

There is also upward and downward rotation. Your shoulder blades rotate upward when you raise your arms over your head, and then rotate back down when you bring them down.

You don’t necessarily need to know all of those, but it can help sometimes.

If someone says “retract”, they may or may not mean to depress them also. Really depends on the context. Personally, I would not recommend depressing the shoulders when doing any overhead movements. When it comes to back work, it really depends on what you’re trying to achieve.


#7

Nighthawkz,

Cool new pic.

Handstand push ups impress me mightily - such a cool mix of balance/control/strength. But they seem like an impossible goal from my current perspective … maybe I’ll look around for a good progression on the internet somewhere.

LoRez,

That’s very informative info on the shoulder. I often run into all those terms in articles and get confused. Thanks for taking the time to do some educating. Regarding retraction in DB rows, I was asking in terms of targeting the lats.

Thanks again to you both.