[quote]Old Dax wrote:
OK, this may have been covered elsewhere-but I dont think so. External rotations (“L-fly” type seated & lying) target the rotator cuff, but is there a difference in the work done by each muscle?[/quote]
Definitely. Each of the four muscles contributes to dynamic stabilization of the humeral head; which one(s) is(are) active depends on the movement in question. I assume that you’re referring primarily to the infraspinatus vs. teres minor contribution to external rotation with the arm abducted or adducted?
The main reason I ask is; after suffering trouble with my left supraspinatus, following the advice of the physio and avoiding benching, stretching doing external rotation when symptom free then re-introducing bench and getting back to 130kg I suffered a problem with my infraspinatus on the same side. [/quote]
This isn’t all that uncommon. The infraspinatus is often a component of stage 2 and 3 impingement symdrome, as it’s the more superior of the two external rotators (excluding the posterior deltoid). For this reason, some individuals (stage 1) will be able to include external rotations with the humerus abducted from the beginning of their rehab, whereas others (stage 2 and 3) will actually get pain at the end of the range of motion with such exercises. This pain isn’t always specific to the infraspinatus region; pain is typically referring to the middle deltoid.
[quote]In an attempt to get round this I try to do reverse shrugs followed L-flys (seated 6 weeks, lying 6 weeks)and have seen improvement. I have taken my grip in slightly (from 32in to 30in) and last week managed 125kgx1, with no problem shoulderwise. I want to stay away from further rotator cuff injuries, but still bench. I train bench using Westside type ME exercises so actual bench is not done every week (mainly do DB Bench / 24" grip floor press / 20" grip board press)
Thanks, Old Dax[/quote]
Not too shabby. I would recommend two external rotation movements per training cycle (one on each upper body day); perform one with the humerus abducted and one with it adducted. Also, do some specific scap stability work (prone lower trap raises work well) and plenty of horizontal pulling (seated rows being your best option from a shoulder health standpoint). Some specific work for the serratus anterior may also be warranted, depending on whether or not you have scapular winging. Watch out for the wide grip; the stress on the glenohumeral joint is markedly increased as compared with the close grip. Many people get more problems with dynamic benching than heavy benching, so be sure to consider that as well.
Best of luck,