Subscapularis Support

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The shoulder is a very shallow joint – and because of this feature, we have the capacity for extensive range of motion and the ability to bring the joint through many different directions of movement – adduction, abduction, flexion, extension, internal and external rotation, circumduction, as well as combinations thereof.

With all its range of motion, the glenohumeral joint relies upon ligaments, the joint capsule (as shallow as it might be), and most notably the rotator cuff muscles (SITS – supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis) for support and stability.  To sustain healthy function of the shoulders, it is essential that we cultivate balance between adequate mobility and stability of all members of the rotator cuff.

When looking for ways to focus on this group of muscles, a myriad of options for addressing the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor abound, but the subscapularis selections are slim. And that’s not surprising…this is an obscure muscle to target.  Check out my previous post for more on this subject.  While it is essential to hone in on the subscapularis as an individual, it is of equal importance to establish a healthy balanced relationship of all the parts that make up the whole of the rotator cuff so that they support one another in working together as a team.

The YTU Pranic Bath shoulder exercise is a fantastic way to develop this all-important balanced relationship and equilibrium of mobility and stability.  It helps to warm and awaken all the muscles of the rotator cuff while increasing synovial fluid in the shoulder joints. In addition, by bringing the shoulder through the fluid, dynamic pattern of the exercise, we improve both flexibility and stability of the articulation of the joint. The brilliance of this exercise is that instead of isolating one part over the other, the tissues work synergistically to create its choreographed movement, which I would like to contend requires (and helps us improve) our coordination skills as well.

Discover our shoulder exercises and shoulder pain solutions.

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Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.

Read our post about “How to get Olympic Inspired Shoulders.”

Here’s a clip, and you can find this and more shoulder awakening exercises on the Quick Fix for Shoulders video:

Elissa Strutton

Elissa Dawn Strutton, E-RYT is a certified Yoga Tune Up ® instructor and is also a certified Forrest Yoga teacher. She delights in sharing the gifts of yoga with others and is committed to providing a space that facilitates healing, self-discovery and personal growth. Elissa’s classes are challenging, yet accessible as she supports students of all levels with skillful adjustments and posture modifications. She encourages her students to connect deeply with the breath while practicing with mindfulness, honesty and integrity.

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A wonderful reminder that one has to work towards a balance between mobility and stability of the rotator cuff (in fact many of our other body parts). I have experienced the benefits of Pranic Bath shoulder exercise but this is the first time that I understand the underlying mechanics to warm up and awaken all the muscles of the rotator cuff while increasing synovial fluid in the shoulder joints.


Thank you Elissa for bringing attention to the subscapularis. The pranic bath is one of few full bilateral shoulder integration stretches that works it all!

Scott McKee

Love Pranic Bath! It has definitely increased my shoulder mobility and, when done for an extended period of time and/or in conjunction with other movements targeting the rotator cuff muscles, can be quite challenging and fatiguing. I also like doing Pranic Bath in reverse and with eyes closed.

Nicole Garratt

This is such an awesome sequence. I am definitely going to introduce this into my classes to warm up and mobilize the shoulders, elbows and wrists.


I love Pranic Bath as a warmup in the PIlates field, especially before loading the arms in the straps on the reformer, for example. It makes the client’s limitations come to the forefront and is a great assessment to decide if they are ready to add some weight to the ranges of motion. Great article!

benito garcia

Im really exited about this choreographed movement. i had immediate improvement with my range of Motion. Can’t wait to share this!

Amanda Joyce

Pranic shoulder bath is homework for not only my clients with shoulder issues (many of which are subscap related), but also those who aren’t currently experiencing difficulties in this region. It’s one of those moves that is awesome in the context of healing as well as maintenance and general lubrication and activation of full ROM. Thanks for a great blog!

Lynne S

One of my personal favorite moves and a lot of fun to teach. It’s great to watch someone master this move and realize how constricted their shoulder joint is and over time to watch their range of motion grow. The fact that it takes thought, especially in reverse, I think helps to keep it interesting.


Thank you for posting. Additionally, and to answer Kathy….I experienced great relief using the YTU therapy balls for subscap and all cuff area as well as clavicular area. The posture improvement not only makes me feel better but actually shows visible improvements to my alignment. Love the addition of YTU balls for this purpose!

Brian Terpak

I have an athlete who I coach (Olympic Weightlifting) who is struggling with a shoulder issue right now. The simplicity of this movement is its genius. We do lots of dynamic stretching when we train, but after watching this video I feel we have found a better way to mobilize/strengthen our shoulders’ connective tissues before we start lifting heavy weights. Nearly every direction of movement is targeted through this drill!


I was in a class and the teacher Louis Jackson -yogatuneup- certified worked pranic bath into a warm up in conjunction with prasaritta lunges. Have to say I was pretty jazzed on the combination of exercises to help get class moving with some attitude. I will go check out your previous post on the Subscapluaris to get a better idea bout you speaking of here. I think it’s the odd muscles like Subscap that need be focused on to attain the health balance we all seek to achieve.


For a very long time, i did not realize that i was waliking around with shoulders protracting and elelvating a bit like herman mosnter – completely messing up the proper function of my rotator cuffs. Doing this simple Yoga TUNE Up moves will surely be amazing routines to recondition and create better posture and less stress in the upper muscles.


I love this exercise! In my practice, over and over again I’ve found myself focusing on one muscle or movement direction for a few months and losing strength and flexibility in others. I love that this movement will simultaneously awaken the whole rotator cuff in a balanced way instead of privileging one over the other. This kind of movement feels so good in my body.


Hi, this movement is unbelievably releasing. Just wondering if there was any very specific release for the sub-scap, which happens to be a recurring problem for me – or if this move (over time) will start to address it. cheers

Terry Littlefield

Love, love, love me some PRANIC BATH! Great article, Elissa!

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[…] By: Gwen Yeager | Friday, April 20th, 2012 | Comments 35 Category: Rotator Cuff, Shoulder Pain | Tags: Pain Relief, Rotator Cuff, rotator cuff injury, shoulder pain relief Most people can easily identify their biceps, triceps, hamstrings or “quads.”  Many may also be able to locate their “traps,” “pecs” or “glutes.”  But the vast majority of people can’t pinpoint their supraspinatus. […]