How to Activate The Subscapularis Muscle

movement training Dec 17, 2017

In this video you will learn how to activate the subscapularis muscle (a key rotator cuff muscle) without allowing the pectoralis major or latissimus dorsi to help out.

The subscapularis muscle is an extremely important rotator cuff muscle.  It helps to stabilize the anterior shoulder complex, to accelerate internal rotation, and decelerate external rotation.

When it’s weak, anterior instability, subluxation and impingement of the humeral head is more likely.  To avoid this, it is necessary to isolate a weak subscap, activate it, and hypertrophy the muscle to provide it with enough power to do its job.

The subscapularis exercise is typically performed much like the infraspinatus muscle activation… namely put a ball under the elbow, and pull a band across the body. The problem with this is that the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi are both internal rotators and can take over and dominate the exercise.  This can lead to poor subscapularis muscle isolation, and therefore poor recruitment.

Using a simple trick based on reciprocal inhibition, it is possible to ‘turn off’ the pec and lat, leaving only the subscap to fend for itself.

In today’s PHYSIOSecret “How to Activate the Subscapularis Muscle” you will learn a simple trick that will change the way to target the anterior rotator cuff. 


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