Our industry likes to be selective. We have devoted a lot of time and words to emphasize the role of the muscles rotating the shoulder outwards, we can easily find information on the fundamental role of the widest and trapezius muscles in the bench press, squat or hygiene posture.
However, there are structures in the upper half of our body on which for some reason there is a conspiracy of silence, or are considered insignificant, if not unnecessary. In this damn group, we’re going to deal with two muscles today – the subscapular and the front teeth. I’ll invite you.
First of all, the toothed anterior muscle – a flat, square muscle, located on the side of the chest (you can read it on Wikipedia). Functions – the upper part is responsible for prolonging the shoulder joint, being an antagonist of the middle part of the trapezius muscle. The lower part with the ascending part of the trapezoid pulls the shoulder down, and also rotates the scapula, changing the position of the acetabulum, which allows the arm to be removed beyond the right angle. The collaboration of the lower and upper trapezius muscles presses the scapula against the chest(you can also read this on Wikipedia).
At first glance, it may seem that we need this muscle moderately during the bench press, so why bother? This is somewhat true, except for the positioning of the lower shoulder, this muscle performs the functions opposite to those desired during bench press (retraction, sinking of the shoulder blade). This is where the word LIBRA comes in on a white horse. What happens when the nose gear is weak and not working properly ?
The so-called wings of the scapula, or “detachment” of the scapula from the chest, and this directly affects the position of the scapula in elevation and protection. Such positioning decentralizes the head of the humerus in the scapular acetabulum, which can lead, among other things, to inflammation of the tendons of the long head of the biceps or the muscles of the rotator cuff (mainly the supraspinatus), or even damage to the labrum.
In other words – not only the structures involved in the construction of the position or the movement itself must be agile and strong, it is necessary to maintain a balance between agonists, antagonists and synergists.
Therefore, a muscle such as the toothed front muscle, which is not directly involved in the movement of the bench press, will indirectly influence the movement of the bench press.
A similar situation occurs with the subscapular muscle. As the name suggests, this muscle is located under the scapula, more precisely on the costal surface of the scapula. The function of this muscle is to rotate the arm inward, as well as adduction and retraction of the front arm. It is an antagonist of the subcapular and small round muscles, which together with the subscapular and supraspinatus muscles form the so-called ring (or cone) of the rotator cuff whose main function is to stabilize the shoulder and center the head of the humerus in the acetabulum of the scapula.
By its structure and the functions it performs, an effective subscapular muscle will counteract the movement of the humerus forward and upward. A weak subscapular head will, in turn, alter the position of the humeral head in the acetabulum, which can lead to the inability to position the scapula in retraction and depression, which, as in the case of insufficient dentate muscle, can lead to tendonitis of the long head of the biceps and rotator cuff. In addition, the weakened subscapular muscle can force structures that work synergistically, such as larger and smaller thoracic structures, to work intensively, which can lead to their overload and, as a result, injury.
It should also be mentioned that not only the failure of these structures can lead to compensations and possible injuries, but also the position of the scapula itself can predispose to greater exploitation of periarticular soft tissues (rotator cuff, labrum). So, for example, it is bruising to lie down with the cake by pressing, without retraction and especially sinking the shoulder blades.