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What is the Best Exercise for the Subscapularis?


Filed Under (Fitness, General) by Rick Kaselj

On the Exercises for Injuries Facebook fan page, I got a great question.

“What is the best exercise for subscapularis?”

What is the Best Exercise for the Subscapularis?

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

Subscapularis is one of the rotator cuff muscles and it’s a little different than the other rotator cuff muscles as opposed to rotating the shoulder out, external rotation. Subscapularis’ role is internally rotating the arm inwards or internally rotating it.

If you have some sort of rotator cuff injury, shoulder injury, you need to target all of the rotator cuff muscles and a lot of times what people do is they are missing out on targeting subscapularis. They might target the other rotator cuff muscles and those might be getting better but they have ignored the subscapularis muscle and that slows down the recovery of your injury to the rotator cuff muscles and also increases the risk of re-injury when it comes to the rotator cuff muscle.

I wanted to go through the best exercise when it comes to subscapularis and that is a modification to the regular push up called Push Up Plus.

How it works is you get into the push up position. You can go from your feet or you can go from your knees. Going from your knees is a little bit easier, going from your toes is a little bit harder and what you are doing is you are in the end position of the push up and then you are going to go a little bit further and you are going to focus on moving your body away from your hands.

#1 – Push Up Plus – Knees

Push Up Plus - Knees

Push Up Plus – Knees

I have got the hands underneath the shoulders. I am coming from the knees. I am in that push up position and the rest of my body is in good alignment and what I am going to do is just doing that plus part, that last bit of the push up back to the start. I have tension on my shoulder blades and mid back and then I am just doing that last little bit and back down.

#2 – Push Up Plus – Toes

Push Up Plus – Toes

The speed that you are doing a nice controlled movement, so like one second up, hold for a second and back down. Start off with 10 repetitions then you can progress to about 10 repetitions. Start off with the knees until you get the idea of how to do the movement and then you can progress from the toes just in like a regular push up position. I am square, I am not collapsing through the mid back, I am not dropping the head. I am in good alignment then a little plus back to the start.

So there you go! If you have any type of rotator cuff injury, make sure you target subscapularis when it comes to your recovery program and your prevention program. If you are looking for the best exercise when it comes to the subscapularis, give the push up plus a go from the knees or from the toes.

Make sure to swing by exercisesforinjuries.com and enter in your injury or pain. There is a good chance that I have an article, video, or interview that will help you overcome your injury or pain.

Lastly, head down below, hit “Like” and leave me a question or comment.

If you are looking for a program to help you with your shoulder pain, then check out Fix My Shoulder Pain, here:


Rick Kaselj, MS


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