I've been perusing the internet a lot and learning about the subscapularis's function as a dynamic stabilizer. Until recently, I was under the impression that the subscap was a bad guy because it was an internal rotator. However, I've learned now that its weakness and tightness is a primary contributor to prolonged, stubborn impingement, which has been keeping me from training for yeas now. I've begun refocusing on training the subscapularis, but the only exercises I've found are the proverbial internal rotation on the cable, prone internal rotations and side-lying internal rotations.
I've grown quite strong on the cable and the side-lying internal rotations, able to lift 20 pounds for a set of 10 on each side, and using 20 pounds on the cable for endurance training. However, yesterday I performed a TINY bit of overhead work and woke up today with a very painful, sore supraspinatus. Direct training of the supraspinatus has always led to the same problem, of course.
When I started training subscapularis, I confirmed that it was riddled with trigger points, scar tissue and adhesion and drastically shortened, and of course RIDICULOUSLY weak. I've come a long way since then, having for the most part alleviated soft tissue issues and strengthened the muscle considerably. My right and left side strength are roughly equal now. However, I haven't seen any improvement in impingement issues.
So my question is how can we train the subscapularis while the arm is overhead? The key function I'm trying to restore is the subscaplaris's ability to stabilize the humeral head and keep it from gliding up and forward. However, I feel like the internal rotation work has only helped marginally in this movement, if it all, really. I've seen the subscapularis pullup, but I feel that not only do I not understand the correct technique, but that this is too much for my weak muscles right now as I am still fairly heavy/muscular at 200 pounds/5-8 frame. Not to mention all sorts of atrophy and weakening of my primary movers over the years I haven't been able to lift.