A tight posterior cuff is associated with a handful of shoulder dysfunctions like subacrominal impingement syndrome, posterior impingement, anterior instability, etc. And thus, ⬇ tone/increasing extensibility of the posterior cuff is part of the treatment protocol for many with shoulder pain. The cross-body stretch is a fantastic way to target the posterior cuff but far too often it is done INCORRECTLY.
‼In order to effectively stretch the posterior cuff, you need to keep your SCAPULA STABILIZED ie your scapula CANNOT MOVE!‼
❌If you pull your arm across your body and your scapula comes with it into horizontal abduction, the only stretch your getting is of your mid-scapular muscles like your rhomboids or traps. Furthermore, in this position there's more of a distraction force on the glenohumeral joint than a true stretch of the posterior cuff - aka not as specific as it can be.
✅First pull your shoulder blades back. This will keep your scapula in a retracted position. Only WHILE MAINTAINING THE POSITION OF YOUR SHOULDER BLADES BACK can you effectively target the posterior cuff. Pay attention to WHERE you feel the stretch, as you should feel a "deep stretch" in the back of your shoulder in the highlighted area on the video. If you feel a stretch or anything else not in the back of shoulder, you're either doing the stretch incorrectly or abutting other structures in your shoulder due to pathology (ie don't do the stretch anymore and seek out a physio if you're in pain).
. Exercise Library