T Nation

External Rotation Work


#1

i have a temperamental shoulder. I tore the infraspinatus years ago, and it's never really been the same since. I can manage it alright though, I only bench with a straight bar for a couple of weeks at a time, neutral grip dumbell presses are my staple, and I do LOADS of pulling movements.

My question is: do you need to do external rotations, cuban rolls etc if you're already doing loads of rows, face pulls and rear delt flyes?

Thanks in advance


#2

My suggestion is that it would be a good idea to work on weak points. So doing some extra rotator cuff work is a good idea. I personally prefer to use a band for that type of work.


#3

You are doing the correct stuff by performing the face pulls, etc. Make sure you are getting a full retraction and depression of the scapula during your rows/pulling movements to get the full benefit. Do you need to make external rotations a huge focus in your workout? No. But I think they are very helpful to shoulder health when used as part of a warmup/activation drill, as part of a superset paired with a more taxing exercise (usually a lower extremity exercise), or as part of a finisher at the end of a workout.

I prefer to do external rotations the following two ways:
1) With the shoulder flexed to 90 in the scapular plane (use a Free Motion machine or a band)
2) Side lying with a bolster/towel under the elbow (weight in hand or manual resistance)


#4

thanks for the replies guys. So I'll start doing some really light ext. rot. stuff in between sets of leg exercises. Thing is I train like this:

Monday: Lower Body (hip dominant)
Tuesday: Upper Body (horizontal push/horizontal pull)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Lower Body (quad dominant)
Friday: Upper Body (vertical push/pull)

is doing the extra RC stuff going to overtrain it and leave it weak for my upper body days?


#5

If you are worried about it effecting your upper body days, just do it as a finisher at the end of an upper body day workout. You don't have to do 5 different variations of external rotations either. If you were worried about it effecting upper body and wanted to get some extra work in, I would do something like this:

1) Add side lying ER with 5# for 2 sets of 10-15 at the end of Tuesday lift
2) Add standing ER in the scapular plane for 2 sets of 10-15 at the end of Friday lift


#6

Do your external rotator work after upper body days. It can increase your bench press instantly. You should really only do 2-3, so it should not take more than 5 minutes. You can superset it with some medial or rear delt/upper back work...

  1. Stretch your pecs/lats in-between sets.
  2. Shoot for TUT of 40-70 seconds, i.e. 10-20 reps at a slow tempo... something like 202.
  3. Work your non-dominant arm first.

Some good external rotator exercises:

  • Low Pulley ER while Standing (bent-arm at side and abducted to 30 degrees)
  • Low Pulley ER while Standing (arm in front, cable stack in front of you)
  • Lying ER on bench with half-foam roller between your side and your working arm
  • Seated ER with arm resting on Scott bench or something similar
  • Cuban Press as you mentioned

#7

alright then guys, I'll stick in a few sets at the end of the upper body days. I thought about doing it before but didn't really think I'd have time. Supersetting it with some of my other lifts is a good idea. I might stagger it like CT talked about staggering abs training in an article a while back.

(to be honest I think it was just laziness on my part, I could easily make time in my workouts)