The scapula are the two bones that rest against the back of your rib cage. They attach your arms to your back, kind of. The fact that they are not actually attached to your rib cage through bone connections means they can slide around, giving your the full range of motion in your arms and shoulders.
The scapula is also know as the shoulder blade. When you lift your arms up, it raises the scapula bones, and then rotates them slightly. The movement is called abduction and refers to the movement away from the medial line (movement away from the center line of the body).
Moving the arms in front of the body glides the scapula over the rib cage towards the front of the body pushing the shoulders towards the front of the body and scapula away from each other slightly, a movement called protraction. The trapezius muscles…
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