Home Posts tagged "Subscapularis"

The Best of 2019: Strength and Conditioning Videos

With my last post, I kicked off the "Best of 2019" series with my top articles of the year. Today, we'll highlight the top five videos of the year.

1. Glute-Ham Raise with Banded Reach

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a big fan of training the posterior chain and also working on getting serratus anterior firing to improve scapular upward rotation. So, you can imagine how excited I am to present to you a video that hits both. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard offered a great demo: 

2. Subscapularis 101

The subscapularis is the largest of the four rotator cuff muscles, but it might also be the most misunderstood. This excerpt from my Sturdy Shoulder Solutions resource will bring you up to speed on it.

3. 1-leg Dumbbell Pullover - The 1-leg dumbbell pullover is a nice variation on a classic. It’ll add a rotary stability challenge to what is normally considered an upper body and anterior core drill. I’m using this variation a bit more in the late offseason (with throwing volume and intensity ramping up), as you can get a good training effect with less external loading.

4. Half-kneeling Cable Lift with Flexion-Rotation Hold

The half-kneeling cable lift w/flexion-rotation hold is a new variation on an old drill, and we've been implementing it quite a bit with athletes this year. It's a creation of CSP-FL co-founder and pitching coordinator Brian Kaplan.

5. Landmine Squat to 1-arm Press

It's not secret that I love landmine presses, and this is a great progression. This drill fits well as a first exercise on a full body day and pairs well with horizontal or vertical pulling. I really like it late in the offseason when we’re trying to keep sessions a bit shorter and get extra bang for our training buck. I’d do sets of 3-5 reps per side.

I'll be back soon with the top guest posts of 2019!

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Subscapularis 101

The subscapularis is the largest of the four rotator cuff muscles, but it might also be the most misunderstood. With that in mind, I thought I'd use today's video as a chance to bring you up to speed on it:

This video is an excerpt from my popular Sturdy Shoulder Solutions resource. For more information, head to www.SturdyShoulders.com.

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Video: When Should You Train Shoulder Internal Rotation?

With this week's $50 off sale on Sturdy Shoulder Solutions, (using coupon code podcast5), let's cover a question I got a while back. A reader asked whether it was ever useful to train shoulder internal rotation. With the lats and pecs (both internal rotators) always getting blasted in a typical strength training program, is any specific work for internal rotation ever recommended? My response warranted a three-part video, which I've compiled into one here:

To learn more about how I assess, program, and coach at the shoulder girdle, check out Sturdy Shoulder Solutions. It's on sale for $50 off through Sunday at midnight. Just use coupon code podcast50 at checkout.

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Random Friday Thoughts: 10/30/09

1.Just a quick heads-up: today is the last day you can get the new Functional Strength Coach 3 DVD set from Mike Boyle with all the sweet bonuses he's offered as an introductory special.  Definitely check it out (here). 2. There's some great new research out in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that compares front and back squats with respect to stress on the knees.  Not surprisingly, you actually see higher compressive forces and knee extensor moments with the back squat - which would imply that the front squat is a safer option for most folks.  This actually isn't a huge surprise to me, as we've integrated front squatting well in advance of back squatting in returning folks with lower extremity issues to "normal training."  However, there is a bit more. You see, we'll have people do a box squat variation before going to a front squat.  There is more of a sitting back motion, and a bit less knee flexion, so more of the stress it put back on the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings) than the quads.  It not only takes the stress off the knees, but also allows folks to maintain a great training effect while they're on the mend.  And, in reality, it probably helps to address some of their inefficiencies, as a good chunk of folks with knee issues tend to have weak posterior chains and be very quad-dominant.  While the majority of these individuals' training focuses on deadlifting variations and single-leg work, when the time comes to squat, we'll first use a front box squat:

From there, we'd go to a back-loaded box squat variation (giant cambered bar, safety squat bar, or straight bar), and then on to regular ol' front squats.  (FYI, I covered front vs. back squats from a different perspective HERE)

3. When it comes to shoulder health, one thing folks miss out on all the time is the important role of the subscapularis, one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff.  This is a huge mistake if you want healthy shoulders.  Why?  As the picture below shows, this sucker has a big cross-sectional area (CSA).  In fact, according to Bassett et al., its CSA is the second largest (behind only the deltoid) of any muscle crossing the glenohumeral joint.

subscap

As an interesting little tag-along to that fact, I recall reading that research has demonstrated that subscapularis cross-sectional area was the only factor that predicted powerlifting performance.  While the primary focus of the subscapularis is dynamic stabilization of the humeral head (and, more specifically, creating anterior stability with its posterior pull), it also assists in internally rotating the humerus, so it's lumped in as a "bad guy" with the other internal rotators: pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, and teres major. In reality, in most folks, some subscapularis activation work during the warm-up should be done in conjunction with lengthening drills for the other internal rotators and posterior rotator cuff in order to establish a good shoulder groove before training.  We go into great detail in Assess and Correct with two of our progressions, but to get the ball rolling, try putting your hand behind your back (as if handcuffed) and then lifting off without extending your elbow or flexing your wrist.

shoulder_subscapularis

If this isn't happening easily (both getting the arm back there and lifting off), you need to get to work!

4. Speaking of Assess and Correct,  the feedback thus far has been fantastic - and folks haven't even received the DVDs yet!  Here's a little sample from some of the emails I've received:

"I ordered a copy last night and have been looking over the e-manual this morning and I’ve got to say, it looks awesome! Can’t wait to put it to use." "I got it yesterday. It's awesome and the DVDs haven't even arrived yet!" Needless to say, the DVDs alone will be 100% worth the deal, but the in-depth bonuses take things to the next level.  Remember that the one-week only introductory price of $97 expires on Sunday at midnight, so pick up your copy ASAP!

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Have a great weekend! EC PS - I'm looking for a good trainer/S&C coach in the State College, PA area.  If you are located there or know someone good nearby, please email me ASAP at ec@ericcressey.com.  Thanks! PPS - I'm doing the Fitcast with Kevin Larrabee this morning.  I'll get the link posted as soon as it's available.
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