T Nation

Training Shoulder Stabilizers?


Although physical therapists prescribe these, some weightlifting authorities seem not to emphasize them. For instance, I noticed that Mark Rippetoe claims that a properly executed press is a good way to strengthen the rotator cuff.

I have to admit that I have wondered sometimes how effective some of the stabilization exercises really were. Some of them seem to be similar to the bench press or lateral raises, just with bands or light weights. If I am doing an exercise like the press or the bench press, won't that strengthen both the big and little muscles all at once?

Am I wasting my time doing these alongside a weight lifting program like Starting Strength? And if I do them, when do I fit them in the program? Should I do them before the actual warm-up sets and work sets, or should I do them on rest days?


I think I should have posted this under “Injuries and Rehab,” so I will do that.


I’ve battled rotator/impingement issues. I spoke with a 50+ multiply bencher (he’s a helluva bencher). He battles the same.

He suggested I use the bamboo bar w/ kelltebells, plates, or dbs suspended w/red mini bands.

I use a 7-8’, 2" diameter PVC pipe and suspend dbs (25-35#). I do 5x10, slow and controlled reps. Takes a little while to get acclimated to the movement.

I also did away with heavy OH pressing, even w/kbs. I will use lighter weight for more reps. Incline bench it out also.

Moved my bench grip in to @ 1 thumb length into the knurling. Takes a lot of the load off the shoulders and puts it on the tricep.

This is what has worked for me. Hope your shoulder(s) get feeling better.