T Nation

Strengthen Rotator Cuffs?


#1

The muscle group I'm focusing on most is shoulders.
I do shoulder press,lateral fyies,and also for the rear shoulders. So it's "complete"...

But I read I need to strenghten the rotator cuffs, I read it somewhere in other threads,but I don't know how to do it.

What exercises should I do ?


#2

Rotator cuff is a stabilizing muscle that doesn't NEED to be terribly strong. It is mostly strengthened in rehab for a shoulder injury. Not because it was weak, but because the INJURY caused it to be weak. For an uninjured person it is generally worked enough in a balanced program. Only time this may not be the case is when you are doing bench pressing too much primarily with the elbows flared out.

The main two exercises are internal and external rotation. They are everywhere on the internet.
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/healthy/physical/injuries/265.html

Also one I kind of made adhoc place a weight on a floor where theres heavy friction and turn it using your shoulder.


#3

There are several articles on T-Nation that address caring for the rotators (do a search), and other smaller back muscles. In all, developing balance in the shoulder girdle. If you have any imbalances, they could cause injury.

I've dislocated my right shoulder twice over the years, and I'm just now beginning to do the exercises linked in the above post. I'm not small, nor weak, but to give you an example of what can happen, two days ago, I did exercise #2 from the posted link. Two sets of 15 with no weight, and one set of 15 with 2.5lbs. (not a typo). My shoulder was extremely sore the entire next day, and it felt as if I had injured it. Today, it is perfectly fine, but those 3 little sets set it in fits. I obviously have a lot of rehab to do....

I highly recommend taking care of any imbalances in your shoulder girdle, once diagnosed. Perhaps, try the exercises, start very light, and see if they cause any pain or there is any perceived weakness in these small muscle groups.

-james


#4

OK thanks !


#5

Check out the "Shoulder Savers" articles. I used to not even be able to turn the steering wheel without pain and now I am fine. Just don't over do rotator cuff specific work. If you train specifically to prevent an injury you might cause one by working those things too much.