T Nation

rotator smo-tator

Can developing the rotator cuff cause the shoulder joint to sit higher in the socket? Can this in turn cause greater intergrity within the entire joint there by allowing the outer shoulder to develop to a greater degree? Can this improve symetrey (not to mention decreased chance of injury on the outer shoulder)? It seems to me that if the cuff can be conditioned and enlarged it could cause the joint to fill and fit more tightly. This would cause a firmer fit between the arm and the shoulder girdle and possibly pull the shoulder further up into the upper back. This would then in turn provide the outer shoulder with a much greater increase in weight bearing capacity. Is this the hidden aspect of Olympic lifts and rotator cuff excersises?

Decent theory, but here’s the problem with “filling in” the joint:

Basically, there isn’t much to fill in! The glenoid fossa (cavity) is very shallow; the surface area of the humeral head is 3-4 times greater than that of the fossa. Think of it as a gold ball sitting on a golf tee. Without the glenoid labrum, a fibrocartilage ring around the fossa, this cavity would be even more dangerously shallow. The tendons of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis (all or which originate on the scapula) converge to form a “cuff” at the humeral head. Basically, given the facts that a) they are tendons and not actual muscle bellies, b) there is a joint capsule present, and c) the humeral head takes up as much as it possibly can in order to maximize stability in a not-so-advantageous position, filling-in the area just isn’t an option.

There are, however, several benefits to direct RC training. Hit me up with PM if you’d like me to elaborate with an article I’ve just completed.

id like to see that article eric.