T Nation

Rotator Cuff training...


I am 19, and have been training since age 15. I also play college lacrosse, I was wondering if training the rotator cuff could aid in increasing my shot speed?

Also, does anyone have any personal testimonial to rotator cuff training improving their pressing movement strength?


Yes and yes. Keep an eye out for an article on this very topic.


I've read many articles that said adding r cuff training can increase your bench press in a short time. I personally didn't notice a difference.

I think well developed external r cuffs really make a back look awesome. It gives that "muscle on muscle" look.


Increasing the strength of your rotator cuffs will increase your strength in something, such as a bench press or a shot, only if your rotator cuffs are weak in relation to the other muscles. It means they're the weak link. If you strengthen them beyond the other surrounding muscles you will not see a marked increase in other activities since another muscle group will then be the weak link, which is holding back your performance.

Since your rotator cuffs are responsible for the integrity of your shoulders, i suggest, its a good idea to not allow them to be the weak link. Anybody who has had a rotator cuff injury will attest to how deabilitating it can be to any movement that involves your shoulder.


any type of throwing sport should be doing RC work. the RC has to slow the arm down post release (after the shot) and usually the arm is moving prett fast. this obviously puts quite a large eccentric load on these pussy ass little muscles. so start working them, call it Prehab..


Right now, I have a weak left rotator cuff. My right rotator cuff is extremely strong, as I was a baseball player for a long time. Basically, right now I have to train my rotators daily, while not doing bench, flyes, pullups or any shoulder work. It really sucks, because bench was my weak point.

Anyways, here's what I do.

external rotation
internal rotation
medial rotation
lateral rotation
theraband shoulder presses on the ground

The last one is where I lay on my back, feet flat on the floor and as close to your butt as possible. Wrap a theraband around your butt and grab both ends with your hands. Try to keep your wrists and elbows on the ground the entire time. Push up and out to a V formation, while keeping wr and el on ground. At the top, shrug your shoulders to your ears. It's really weird looking, but it forces your shoulders to stabilize and it is a good trap workout.

Also, you can look into doing figure 8's with dumbbells overhead. I've done these before, and damn they make your shoulders tired.


Oh, and you don't train your RC for "muscle on muscle" look. They are trained for functional strength and stabilization. You won't see them at all if you are ripped to the bone.



Training the infraspinatus and teres minor CAN have a marked effect on your upper back development, as they are superficial muscles in some parts.

The subscapularis is "stuck" between the scapula and rib cage, so it won't do much for size.

The supraspinatus is deep to the upper trapezius, but it can make the traps appear larger when developed.