T Nation

EC & MR: Lying External Rotations?


I read on a pretty dumb site that lying external rotations are dangerous: "While I'm at it, I would also like to kill another exercise I've seen around gyms for the past years. Ever seen a guy stand with light dumbbells in his hands, upper arms straight out to the sides and 90 degree angle in his elbows, rotating his arms from vertical to horizontal? If you ask him what he's doing, he'll proudly inform you that he is right now taking care of his rotator cuffs.

Considering what you know about two vulnerable joints in that area which gets pressed pretty tight at that angle, adding the back-and-forth motion, you can also conclude that the dude is doing a nice job of actually sawing his bicep and supraspinatus joints off."

This question is especially for Cressey and Robertson. While I consider that site full of bs (4 exercises, 3 sets each, 10 reps/set type of bs), I would appreciate an expert opinion on this.
Many thanks, Vlad


Practically, does this exercise pose any danger?
Thanks, Vlad

P.S.: until now, this one has the best feel to it (as in feel that it works) -also doing cuban rotations, L-lateral raises and knee supported external rotations.


I would post this in their locker threads. They are both so busy I'm not sure they check the other forums.


Is this EXACTLY what he wrote? If so, he needs to re-visit his anatomy text; I'd love to see when the biceps and supraspinatus became "joints."

It's true that if you have faulty function of the scapula and/or glenohumeral joints, you'll be at risk for impingment in this position (or basically any position around 90 degrees abduction/flexion or higher). BUT, does that mean you shouldn't train your external rotators? That's just retarded.

If someone is getting impingement, I always start with the scapula and figure out what's wrong there first. I highly doubt, though, that external rotations are going to do that much damage, especially when they same trainee is probably bench pressing, overhead pressing, or even worse, upright rowing and dipping.

Stay strong



Thanks. I will. Didn't think of this.


Many thanks Mr. Robertson. So this means that the other exercises are certainly more dangerous? I now stick to overhead pressing variations and work on one-arm pushups. I also used to chin a lot, but decided to bring my vertical push up to par (I am very weak at pushing, but good at chinning).
Thanks, Vlad :slightly_smiling: