This study sought o evaluate the effect of scapular stabilization during horizontal adduction stretching (cross-body) on posterior shoulder tightness (PST) and passive internal rotation (IR). Subjects were placed at random in to either horizontal adduction stretching with manual scapular stabilization (n=30) or horizontal adduction stretching without stabilization (n=30). Passive stretching was performed for 3- to 30-second holds in both groups. Range of motion measurements of PST and IR were performed on the athlete’s dominant shoulder before and immediately following the intervention. Baseline mean angular measurements of PST and IR for all athletes involved in the study were 62°±14° and 40°±10°, respectively, with no significant difference between groups (P=.598 and P=.734, respectively). Mean PST measurements were significantly different between groups after the horizontal adduction stretch, with a mean angle of 83°±17° among the scapular stabilization group and 65°±13° among the nonstabilization group (P<.001). Measurements of IR were also significantly different between groups, with a mean angle of 51°±14° among the scapular stabilization group and 43°±9° among the nonstabilization group (P=.006).
Horizontal adduction stretches performed with scapular stabilization resulted in significantly larger improvements in IR and PST than horizontal adduction stretching without scapular stabilization.