Save your shoulders!
Don’t squeeze your elbows into your sides/ “squeeze your shoulder blades together and back” while doing Chaturanga or push-ups .
If you don’t have time to watch this really awesome video. here’s the nitty-gritty :
When you squeeze your shoulder blades together and down also cued as “squeeze elbows into your sides” by using your latissimus dorsi muscles, you actually force the front part of your shoulder to move forward ( a potentially damaging position for the shoulder when doing a push-up or Chaturanga!)
Anybody who has taken even basic anatomy knows that the latissimus dorsi muscles actually attach to the front of your shoulder. Therefore, you absolutely cannot have a safe position for your shoulder if you are squeezing your elbows into your sides with the power of your latissimus dorsI muscles.
I’m sure that this often used cue came from a well intended place. Perhaps some yoga instructor years back watched students winging their elbows way out to their sides every time they lowered into Chaturanga and began to cue “bring the elbows closer to the sides.” Of course we in our Western society always take everything to the extreme so now the cue has become “squeeze your elbows tight into your sides as you lower down into chaturanga. The problem is going to the opposite extreme and squeezing the elbows tight into your sides is just as potentially damaging as the opposite.