T Nation

Infraspinatus and Teres Minor


hey all,
Just hoping for some tips on how to develop these muscles more fully.
As it is now, if i sit back against a high backed bench etc, i can feel too much contact on my scapulae and not enough ‘cushioning’ from the muscles.
Any tips for targeting these particular muscles would be appreciated. It would obviously assist in developing a thicker upper back - ultimate goal.


What’s your height and current weight?

Rows, pull-ups, and pulldowns, and variations of each. No major secrets there. Face pulls, especially with a pause at peak contraction, are one great movement in particular. Also, overhead pressing and a well-designed shoulder routine will hit those (curiously specific) muscles too.

So basically, build muscle with a good program that works all the basic lifts. Like I said, no major secrets.

Clay Hyght’s Building A Bodybuilder Back has some ideas about setting up a back workout.


Height: 176cm
Weight: 76kgs
My shoulders are pretty crap. I cannot do overhead pressing movements owing to having dislocated both sides. Oddly enough pull ups, & rows don’t cause me too much discomfort. With rows I use the close-grip attachment and have also started to use a lat-bar to throw in some variation.
Just wondering how much development in that region is contingent upon shoulders? Will it still develop without incorporating a shoulder routine per se?
Will check out Clay Hyght…
Thanks for the input


hey man, as far as the infraspinatus and Teres minor go, both of these rotator cuff muscles only perform 2 movements. external rotation and horizontal abduction.

external rotation isn’t something I see people do often in the gym but the way to do it on a cable machine is:
adjust cable height to just under the pecs I use the single rope attachment with a pronated grip.
keep your elbow tucked into your side with your forearm at a 90 degree angle, grab the rope, and while maintaining that tuck and 90, rotate pronated hand away from body.

for horizontal abduction, just like chris said, face pulls are the master.

message me if you have any questions man.


Focus on building muscle everywhere and gaining muscular bodyweight. That’ll go much farther in curing this “problem” than overfocusing on two relatively small muscle groups.

If you have a shoulder issue that’s caused lingering problems like this, work on getting the shoulders healthy again. If that’s not an option, for whatever reason, then do the best you can with what you’ve got. But those muscles do play a role in shoulder stability. If your shoulder stability is compromised, then they’re likely not working, let alone being trained, at 100%.


Pullovers, face pulls and lots of band work.

Sorry to be that guy, but you need to get bigger overall. Concentrating on two minor muscles is the wrong way to look at things.

Get healthy and get stronger. In that order.


thanks heaps for the advice


Cheers bro,
will incorporate that into my routine also…
Many thanks