The subscapularis is the largest of the four rotator cuff muscles, and is tucked right in between the ribcage and shoulder blade hidden from external view. The subscapularis is responsible for internal rotation of the arm, as well as stabilization of the arm during other motions.
So what happens when the subscapularis is tightened and shortened?
Subscapularis tightness can lead to an assortment of issues including loss of shoulder mobility especially with putting the arm behind the back, pain and weakness during shoulder movements and shoulder joint instability. In addition, it may cause rounded shoulders and the compensation from other muscles during movements may lead to further fatigue and pain.
Some causes of subscapularis tightness may be from poor hunched postures during office jobs, injuries to the shoulder joint during sports or lifting weights, or repetitive shoulder movements during work. One easy exercise that one can do to stretch the subscapularis is a doorway pec stretch that may also loosen other shoulder joint muscles and fix rounded shoulders. To perform this exercise, stand near a wall with the arm in an L-shape with the shoulder relaxed, and lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the subscapularis. Hold for thirty seconds and repeat three times to feel relief in the area.