Jake Purdy
2024-01-30

Scap Strap Prescription for Bullet Proofed Shoulders

Designed to Bilaterally Train shoulders/back

The Scap Strap is a Patent Pending Design by Pro Baseball Player Jacob Nix and is a cable machine attachment designed to allow you to bilaterally attack your shoulders and other parts of the upper body. When doing shoulder rehab/prehab you often want to perform exercise on both the “problem” side and the “healthy” side. This will help with  preventing the injury in the future to the healthy side and also will help keep symmetry of the musculature. The Scap Strap allows you to do many movements such as row to external rotation bilaterally, saving you time. It was specifically designed to target the rotator cuff as well as the musculature responsible for both internal and external rotation of the glenohumeral joint.  The size and versatility of The Scap Strap allows the athlete to complete their entire shoulder program virtually anywhere as they can use a band or cable column as resistance.

Above is a link to a YouTube video with movement specialist Greg Williams, Greg painted the muscles of the upper back effected by The Scap Strap on our models back and points out which muscles are activated by each different Scap Strap movement. 

Scap strap prescription

In order to “bullet-proof” the shoulders you must develop  strength but also muscular endurance. This is why most Scap Strap exercises are performed in sets of 3-5 and reps of 8-12. 

On my bench/upper body days I usually perform super set #1  as my warmup before my warmup set of push ups, floor press or whatever my pressing priming movement is. Then I will do super set #2 after my big lift, Bench, Incline Bench, Shoulder press ect. so I am not as fatigued for the lift. If I am just hitting an arm day and do not care about being tired I will just do both super sets in a row. 

Super set #1

Open Up 3 sets x 8-12 reps with 10-20 LBS (light weight)

Pull Apart 3 sets x 8-12 reps with 15-20 LBS (light weight)

Vertical Pull Aparts: 3 sets x 8-12 reps with 15-20 LBS (light weight)

 All exercises can also be done with a band, most athletes will want an orange or maybe a red band, a black, purple or green band would be far too much resistance. 

Super set #2

Overhead Raise 3 sets x 8-12 Reps with 10-20 LBS (light weight)

Straight Arm Pull Down 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 30-60 LBS (mid weight)

Scapular Retraction 3 Sets x 15-30 Reps at 50-200 LBS (heavy weight)  sit down so you can focus on only using scapula/lats to pull. 

Face Pulls 3 sets x 8-12 Reps at 50-100 LBS (Moderately Heavy Weight)

 All exercises can also be done with a band, a light orange or red band is the recommended resistance level but for scapular retractions and face pulls you will need a stronger purple or green band. 

exercises

The 7 exercises shown below are the most effective exercises we have come up with using the scap strap for building the musculature responsible for internal and external rotation of the glenohumeral joint. The more stable this musculature is the more stable and sturdy shoulders you will develop. If you have a question how to perform any of these exercises, click here to watch our YouTube video or call in and ask for Jake Purdy and he will work with you to figure it out. 

open up

Open Up: the open up is a bilateral exercise that is often done with a D handle on a cable column when you do not have acess to a scap strap. This exercise is a row to external rotation, you should end with your hand up above your head in a 90 degree ish angle facing the cable stack.

Begin with scap resistance set at chest level with light weight, pronated grip with thumbs on or off and finish in the position pictured above before controlling the eccentric contraction back to the beginning. 

pull apart

Pull Apart: The pull apart is also a bilateral exercise that targets the delts and the subscapularous in the upper/mid back. This is my second favorite exercise to perform with the scap strap

The athlete will start with their hands together in a Neutral Grip, then pull the strap apart to end in a T position, then they will control the eccentric back till the hands are together and repeat. 

Vertical pull apart

Vertical Pull Apart, The vertical pull apart is similar to the pull apart but one hand goes up and the other goes down, the hand that goes down gets the tricep involved as well as the lat and the hand going up targets the upper back including the Traps.

This movement starts with one hand on top of each other in front of the athlete, the hand on top will raise up and the hand on the bottom will pull down to hit the end range shown in the image above, then you will control the eccentric and perform 7-11 more times before switching and hitting the other side. This is the only exercise on this super set list that needs to be done on the right and left side, the rest are fully bilateral.

Overhead raise

Overhead Raise: Starts by holding both hands together in a pronated positing, then the athlete will raise them overhead at the same time ending in an “I” position at end range before controlling the eccentric back to the start and repeating. The Overhead raise can also be performed in conjunction with a pull apart, hit an over head raise a pull apart, another overhead raise and repeat. 

Straight arm pull downs/pocket pulls

Straight Arm Pull Down (pocket pulls): The straight arm pull down is a great execsies that is not really possible without a scap strap. You will see ahtetes perform these with a straight or lat pull down bar but they cannot get a full ROM as the bar will hit them in the legs at the bottom. The V Shape of the scap strap allows you to do straight arm pulls and go past that point and behind you. These are called pocked pulls because you pull the strap down and past your pockets. 

Scapular retractions

Scapular Retractions: these are best perfromed laying down as you will need to use a lot of weight to feel the effect, the athelte will start with their hands out and shoulder width apart, they will then do a scapular retraction and row the cable stack or band with just their upper back and scapular region not their arms. The arms will stay straight, this one is often best performed for 20+ reps or to near failure. 

Face Pulls

Face Pulls are a great exercises, that can be performed with band or cable resistance. Face pulls start like most scap Strap exercies with the resistant point right at the atheltes chest/head level and arms out. They will then pull their hands to their face and stop when their knuckles touch their cheek/ear. You do not want to pull it wide like you do for an open up it is more of a pull to the side of your face. 

other exercises

The Scap Strap is a V shaped strap with two loops sowed in to add carabiners and handles. Pictured above is the scap strap being used to turn a cable column into a chest supported row machine. 

what makes the scap strap design unique?

The Scap Strap can be up to 58″ apart from D ring to D ring making your hands be able to be about 60″ apart from eachother at full stretch when using Single Handle Attachments on the strap. The Scap Strap is 44.5″ long when laying down, all the other V straps we have found are 25″ or less in length which can limit ROM. The Stray Dog rotating Single Handle Attachments that come with the scap strap allow for easy rotation putting athletes wrists in a stronger/less compromised position in various movements. Movements such as pull aprts or open ups, can be done with a non rotating handle but it is not as comfortable and seemless as using a rotating handle. This design is Patent Pending and should be approved soon. The Scap Strap webbing is rated for over 500 LBS allowing you to use it as a suspension/row strap as well.

Conclusion

The Scap Strap has been the best tool in my shoulder rehab arsenal since I was approached by the products inventor Jacob Nix in the winter of 2022. Paired with a cable column or a band it can be used for dozens of exercises and some of the most effective shoulder exercises I have ever performed. The long length of the strap and rotating handles allows you to hit full ROM and keep your hands in a strong/supported position through different points of the range of motion. These 7 exercises mixed with some Indian Club/DB Raises are the main staples in my shoulder rehab that took me from post Latarjet Shoulder Socket reconstruction to back on the lacrosse  field in less than 8 months. 

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