Renegade

If You Want To Be Proactive With Your Shoulders, Be Sure to Work In Rotator Cuff Exercises

While many of us know how to do shoulder mobility work, rotator cuff exercises are often missing to keep those shoulders healthy.

What Is The Rotator Cuff?

 

A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff has many functions and helps your muscles do the following:
  • The rotator cuff helps keep the head of your upper arm bone firmly in your shoulder socket
  • It powers arm and shoulder movements
  • Protects your shoulder and
  • The rotator cuff also helps you with moving your arm overhead
Each of these four muscles is a part of the rotator cuff and plays an important role.
Supraspinatus – This holds your humerus in place and keeps your upper arm stable.
Infraspinatus – This muscle lets you rotate and extend your shoulder.
Teres Minor –  This is the smallest rotator cuff muscle and its main job is to assist with the rotation of your arm, away from the body.
Subscapularis – This holds your upper arm bone to your shoulder blade. It helps you rotate your arm, hold it straight out, and also to lower it.

Why Train Or Perform Rotator Cuff Exercises?

You likely know that the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body but with this comes challenges. It is easy to misuse or overuse the joint, which can also make it very easy to cause a shoulder injury. Keeping your shoulders healthy and pain-free, especially in a strength sport, is essential to longevity, training hard, making progress, and improving your physique. So how do use shoulder exercise to keep it healthy? First, watching for an overuse injury or impingement is a key element to keep them healthy but also incorporating and programming in rotator cuff exercises, with your shoulder mobility exercises, is a great way to be proactive.
Impingement usually occurs when muscle strain and other overuse injuries cause swelling in the shoulder joint. This decreases the space between these bones and creates discomfort.

Here Are Some Of My Favorites To Help Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff

Standing External Rotation

Stand grasping a dumbbell or kettlebell with your free arm resting on/grabbing your hip or side
  • Your working arm should be bent with 90 degrees bend in your elbow and your bicep resting on your side
  • The weight should start in front of your torso
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and your upper arm should remain pressed against your side and push/rotate the weight out to the side as far as it is comfortable
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Standing Internal Rotation

Stand grasping a dumbbell or kettlebell with your free arm resting on/grabbing your hip or side
  • Your working arm should be bent with 90 degrees bend in your elbow and your bicep resting on your side
  • The weight should start extended out to your side
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and your upper arm should remain pressed against your side and push/rotate the weight in toward your torso
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Lying External Rotation

Lay on your side with your free arm on the bench
  • Your working arm should be bent with 90 degrees bend in your elbow and your bicep resting on your side
  • The weight should start in front of your torso
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and your upper arm should remain pressed against your side and lift the weight until it is directly above your torso
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Lying Internal Rotation

Lay on your side with your working arm on the bench and non-working arm on your side
  • Your working arm should be bent with 90 degrees
  • The weight should start in front of your torso
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and lift the weight until it is directly above your torso
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Cable External Rotation

Stand using a low-pulley system (if you only have a high or low pulley option) or crossover machine with a pulley at waist height with a single hand attachment.
  • Stand sideways to the rack and hold the handle with a 90-degree bend in your elbow
  • Your hand should reach across to the opposite side of your waist
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and rotate your arm, at the shoulder until you can no longer rotate it
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Cable Internal Rotation

Stand using a low-pulley system (if you only have a high or low pulley option) or crossover machine with a pulley at waist height with a single hand attachment.
  • Stand sideways to the rack and hold the attachment with your arm closest to the object
  • Your forearm should be in line with your abdomen and your arm bent 90 degrees and your elbow tight to your side
  • Maintain a bent arm and your elbow at your side and pull the weight across your body until your hand reaches the opposite side of your waist
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Banded External Rotation

Wrap a band around a rack or stable object at just above waist height
  • Stand sideways to the band and hold the band with a 90-degree bend in your elbow
  • Your hand should reach across to the opposite of your waist
  • Maintain bend in your elbow and rotate your arm, at the shoulder until you can no longer rotate it
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms

Banded Internal Rotation

Wrap a band around a rack or stable object at just above waist height
  • Stand sideways to the band and hold the band with your arm closest to the object
  • Your forearm should be in line with your abdomen and your arm bent 90 degrees and your elbow tight to your side
  • Maintain a bent arm and your elbow at your side and pull the band across your body until your hand reaches the opposite side of your waist
  • Control the weight back to the starting position
  • Complete all reps on one side and then switch arms
Whether you are early in your exercise journey and want to be proactive in preventing a rotator cuff injury or if you have been training for many years and want to train for many more, keeping your shoulders healthy is an integral part of this plan. Incorporate these exercises into your program or reach out to Renegade to do that for you.
If you have an injury or suspect one, of course, consult with a physician but other techniques commonly sought are; physical therapy, dry needling, or a shoulder specialized physiotherapist.
Healthy Lifting!

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