The shoulder joint is a very important and complex area of the body. There are many muscles and nerves throughout the area that play a large role in everyday life. The subscapularis is one of the muscles of the shoulder which plays an important role.
The subscapularis is one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff. Together the rotator cuff moves the humeral head but the muscles also perform actions of their own, subscapularis’ action being internal rotation of the arm. Being the helpful muscle that it is, the subscapularis also helps with adduction of the shoulder.
While this muscle seems minute in comparison to all the other shoulder muscles, it can be a silent killer. It performs 53% of total rotator cuff strength. If the subscapularis is tight or torn it can prevent shoulder flexion or raising your arm.
How to stretch this muscle: the subscapularis does internal rotation, therefore. To stretch this muscle we need to put the shoulder into external rotation.
You can do this stretch by finding a doorway, grabbing onto the door frame with the arm you want to stretch, then rotate your body away from the affected arm until you feel a stretch.
Do not stretch past pain, the goal is to feel a medium strength stretch without a painful sensation.
To strengthen the subscapularis, we want to pull the arm into internal rotation. You can use a band which is attached to the door or another stable object. Start with your elbow bent at a right angle, and your arm right next to your body. Pull with your hand towards your torso and slowly return to a position where your hand is pointing straight forward.
If you are having sharp or intense pains in your shoulder or are having trouble moving it, we recommend seeing your physician to figure out the source of your pain.