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Rotator Cuff Timeline and Pressing questions

Hey guys,

So I have had a rotator cuff injury due to swimming years back. It never really went away but I really feel it limiting me now that I am lifting consistently.

So quick question: Should I stop pressing all together and just focus on healing it properly before I do even more damage? Or should I rehab it while continuing to press?

Also, what kind of time line am I looking at if I rehab it every day? Stretching, strengthening mobility work etc etc on different days.
I know what I am suppose to do, I just wanted to know how to work it into my lifting schedule.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I would focus on rehab rather than continuing to press overhead heavy etc. When rehabbing my shoulder it took only a couple of weeks, maybe three, to start feeling better. I used the standard rehab routine of arm hang circles, stretching and such (don’t know names of exercises, but physical therapist provided). When I came back I was very careful about progression and still do a sort of shoulder “prehab” in my workout that includes a series of very light weight shoulder raises. I don’t know how it works with prevention but it serves as almost an early warning system if something doesn’t feel quite right.

thank you. appreciate it

What exactly is your injury? Have you had it diagnosed by an Ortho. Doc.?

I had a minor tear in the rotator cuff a little over a year ago from falling off my horse. I spent about 3 or 4 weeks mostly resting and doing some gentle rehab/mobility.

Then I started pressing again, but I did it really lightly. Like 25 pound dumbells to begin with. I just focused on proper form. Then I started to slowly increase the weights.

After a month or so of working out I would notice some shoulder and elbow discomfort in the form of tightness and loss of mobility. I might have developed some scar tissue back there. I started rolling the back of my shoulders on a hard rubber band ball before all my workouts. Feels awesome. Really opens things up. I got the idea from Eric Cressey.

But you’ll probably want to make sure you are fully healed before you start rolling on it. Something for the future, though.

[quote]booksbikesbeer wrote:
I had a minor tear in the rotator cuff a little over a year ago from falling off my horse. I spent about 3 or 4 weeks mostly resting and doing some gentle rehab/mobility.

Then I started pressing again, but I did it really lightly. Like 25 pound dumbells to begin with. I just focused on proper form. Then I started to slowly increase the weights.

After a month or so of working out I would notice some shoulder and elbow discomfort in the form of tightness and loss of mobility. I might have developed some scar tissue back there. I started rolling the back of my shoulders on a hard rubber band ball before all my workouts. Feels awesome. Really opens things up. I got the idea from Eric Cressey.

But you’ll probably want to make sure you are fully healed before you start rolling on it. Something for the future, though.[/quote]

$.02 Start with landmine overhead presses. I.e., take a bar, shove one end in a corner and put a plate at the free end. Press the free end. Use two hands. This allows you to still get some pressing in. That the weight is in front takes a lot of the load off the shoulders and the fact that you have two hands on it means you don’t need the rotator cuff to stabilize (anytime your hand is above you elbow, the RC is working, btw). Make sure you do it with good form. Once that is working, drop the weight and do single arm overheads. (say 1 month bilat, 1 month single arm). By that time your RC rehab should have kicked in and you can try other forms of pressing. If anything hurts or nags don’t do it. Landmine presses are a close second to free weights but are way more shoulder friendly.

Worked for me.

– jj