So I think that many people are now aware of the fact that many people need to balance out their pulling exercises with their pushing exercises. Since it is pretty commonplace in our society today for people to sit at desks all day, many people have overly kyphotic shoulders with stiff or short pecs and weak upper/mid backs. In many cases, doing some upper body pulling exercises to train scapular retraction and balance out all of the scapular protraction that these people are stuck in works great.
However, not only do we need to look at protraction (rounded shoulders) versus retraction (open chest, scapulae together) of the scapulae, we also need to look at upward versus downward rotation of the scapulae. While the whole hunchback, rounded shoulders story is pretty common, a lack of scapular upward rotation is also very common. Anytime someone performs shoulder flexion (brings arms straight in front of their body and overhead), the glenohumeral joint has to flex and the scapula also has to upwardly rotate in a nice rhythm in order to reach smooth overhead motion. (Thoracic spine also needs to extend) If the scapula does not rotate up fully, the humeral head will glide superiorly (upward) to compensate and shoulder impingement and pain will result.
Well, if upward rotation of the scapula is limited, then that must mean that the muscles that are in charge of downward rotation of the scapulae are probably contributing to this limitation. These muscles happen to include the rhomboids and the levator scapulae. In addition to playing a part in downward rotation of the scap, the rhomboids also assist with retraction of the scap and both rhomboids and levator assist with elevation of the scap. This means that your typical upper body pulling variations such as db rows, cable rows, etc. can add to the rhomboid issue in someone who has a problem achieving solid upward scapular rotation.(In addition to this, many people also perform shrugs (elevation of the scapulae) with the arms at the side, which could further add to the fire in this situation) Hyperkyphosis and downward rotation issues can both be present in the same person. So, what do you do to help someone like this? Are they just stuck in this situation forever and have to figure out how to live with it? I think not!!
Regular face pulls look like this. Pull towards the eyes/nose with a palms in grip. Rotate the thumbs back as you pull the scapulae together.