Rotator cuff injuries are all too common, inside and outside of the gym and once that injury occurs you may never fully recover from it. So it is in every lifters best interest to add rotator cuff strengthening exercises to their regular routine to prevent them.
Top rotator cuff strengthening exercises
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons, superinfraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor, that surround the should joint. These muscles reside next to the rear delts and cover the shoulder blades and keep your arm bone in the shoulder socket. Often people exercise their front delts with bench press and military presses, leaving the rotator cuff muscles lagging and unable to keep up with the work load. This creates and imbalance and increases your risk of injury. Rotator cuff exercises may seem tedious, but they are well worth the work to complete full rounded shoulders.
Conquer your cuffs
A good way to start your rotator cuff strengthening exercises is with internal rotations using light dumbbells or resistance bands. Using light weights; aim to move slowly and complete a full range of motion. Then you should perform the external rotation in the same fashion.
Use variations of lateral raises
Altering your hand position, posture etc will help a lot. Start again with a light dumbbell and try three different grips 1) palms facing the ceiling 2) palms facing the floor 3) in the hammer position and be sure to contract and extend the muscle in a full range of motion.
Cable Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises
The weight increments are more favorable and you can keep the targeted area under constant tension. We also that you focus on doing one side at a time, but always mix things up to keep the body guessing and improving.
External Rotation Cable Machine
- Put the handle for the cable pully machine all the way down to the floor.
- Start with low weight and increase if needed.
- Pick up the pulley up to shoulder height with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Slowly rotate your arm up keeping and the 90 degree angle so your fist is at the side of your head then return to shoulder height.
Stretching and warm up
Stretching is so important and can prevent injuries, also do a couple of warm up sets at the start of each workout to get your blood pumping into the area. One also has to understand that the body works as a unit and should be trained equally. If you don’t, you will suffer the consequences further down the line.
Hit each delt head equally with compound moves and isolation work, don’t neglect your upper back and listen to your body. Take all of this advice and you will be well on your way to preventing rotator cuff injury.