T Nation

external rotation

I am wondering about when to supplement external rotation movements in to an existing workout routine. Do they belong with chest, back or shoulder workouts and before or after heavy compound movements? These are being looked into to increase bench and pull-up loads that have been stagnant for a while.

I used to do mine after my upper body workout. Now i do them when im sitting at home or as part of an extra workout three or four days per week. Sometimes i will rep out on my theraband for 30-40 reps.

Use them after your compound movements (chest, back, or shoulder; take your pick).

as far as what day to include them, i dont think there is much difference between doing them on shoulder day or chest/back day. i would however perform them after your heavy compound exercises at the end of your workout. having fatigued external rotators during heavy benches and the like is probably not a good idea.

If you are going to do external rotations you will need to do internal rotations as well to combat any strength differences in the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are small muscles designed to rotate the humeral head in the glenoid cavity and aren’t designed to perform heavy weigthed movements. For this reason don’t use heavy resisted ext/int rotations just use therabands or very light weigth cables. They will only be recruited in a synergistic/assistive/stabilising role in the larger movements but are definately important to keep in good shape. I personally would do external rotations before back and internal before chest. Don’t overload them with too much weight or you might develop tendonitis prob’s…good luck.

Hmmm… don’t you mean to say heavy benches hit your internal rotator pretty hard?

As i mentioned before, I do external rotations before every upper body session, this is normally two sessions a week, one heavy 2-4 sets of 4-8 reps and one light 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. I perform them as the first exercise after my warm-up. Since starting this i haven’t had any of the usual shoulder problems I had before.

just to give yall some insight to what my ART guy said, he told me to perform them light every day just to reestablish the recruitment patterns. He said that he has seen people who took a year after injuring their cuff to reestablish their recruitment of the muscles. he also says for me to do them light before my workouts to activate them before my heavy sets. JM Blakely has also said this i believe. I will usually do like ten easy reps of internal and external rotations before my upper body work. these are really light. i could get maybe fifty reps but only do ten.