Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeWarmup
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Scapular Wall Slide Overview

The scapular wall slide exercise is an activation drill used to warm up the muscles of the upper body.

In particular, the scapular wall slide warms up the muscles of the shoulder and upper back.

Scapular Wall Slide Instructions

  1. Setup in a standing position with feet away from the wall and your lower back, hands, and elbows touching the wall.
  2. Exhale and slide your hands up the wall while maintaining a neutral spine position until the elbows are completely locked out.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Scapular Wall Slide Tips

  1. The arms should form a Y (similar to your overhead position at lockout) at the top of the movement.
  2. Ensure that the lower back maintains contact with the wall throughout the duration of the exercise.
    • Think about rolling your pelvis up towards the ceiling and ensure that you exhale as you slide the hands upward - this will ensure that the abdominals are activated.
  3. Be careful not to over cue the lats on the eccentric (lowering) portion. Aka don’t pull the elbows down aggressively, allow the forearms to slide down naturally while keeping the back musculature “quiet”.
  4. For those in scapular depression, they may need to shrug slightly at the top to allow for complete upward rotation and optimal glenohumeral kinematics.
  5. Watch to ensure that you don’t jut the head forward excessively as you slide your hands up the wall. Move the shoulder blades on the rib cage, not your head in relation to your arms.
Posted on: Mon, 05/02/2022 - 13:40

I can't get into the starting position without my lower back coming off the wall. My right arm is OK, but my left won't rotate all the way (I'm left-handed). What should I do to address this? Thank you.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/09/2022 - 16:28

Speak to a physician to make sure you don't have any lingering injuries, Nonce. If you're cleared, then just keep trying to work on it. If you're injured, do as the doc says.