Supraspinatus soopruhspiNAtus

The supraspinatus originates from the back (dorsal) surface of the scapula and inserts on the greater tuberosity of the humerus in front of the infraspinatus. The supraspinatus initiates arm abduction. Injury to this muscle results in the use of accessory muscles such as the trapezius and deltoids to accomplish this action.

Supraspinatus Dog

Of all the rotator cuff muscles the supraspinatus is the most frequently injured, due to impingement of its tendon on the inferior surface of the acromion process of the scapula. In yoga, impingement can occur in asanas such as dog pose and urdhvadhanurasana. This problem can be avoided by externally rotating the humerus and inwardly rotating the scapula.

Supraspinatus (back view)

Tightness of the supraspinatus limits poses where the arm crosses the chest(such as in garudasana). Injuries may limit abduction of the arm, resulting in a "shrugged"shoulder appearance to poses where the arm is abducted(such as virabhadrasana II).

Garudasana Arms

Subscapuiaris (sub-skap-u-LAR E-us)

The subscapuiaris originates from the inside (ventral) surface of the scapula and inserts on a knob-shaped structure called the "lesser tuberosity" of the humeral head. Contracting the subscapuiaris internally rotates the humerus. Tightness in this muscle limits poses with an external rotation component of the upper arms, such as urdhvadhanurasana.

Weakness limits poses such as parsvottanasana.

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The Newbies Guide To Yoga

The Newbies Guide To Yoga

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