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360 Fitness

Most meat heads that walk into the gym year after year have no idea what the rotator cuff is. You don’t want to be that guy (or girl) who constantly suffers from shoulder pain and injuries due to the constant weight your pushing. We can prevent or relieve that pain by training our lessor known friend, the rotator cuff. Our rotator cuffs are composed of four muscles that surround the shoulder joint: the teres minor, subscapularis, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus. Together, these muscles stabilize our arms at the joint and allow us to rotate the shoulders. Thing is… that after so much pressing, these tiny muscles really take a beating. That’s why we have to isolate and strengthen them to prevent injury and get rid of any unwanted pain. The following is a rotator cuff focus workout that can be performed at home or at the gym with an exercise band or cable 1-3 days a week. It’s best not to do it before chest or shoulder workout, as it can lead to heavy pre-exhaust.


Internal Rotation – If using an exercise band, put one end of the band around a door handle, grab the other end of the handle with your right hand, and stand far enough from the door to that the band has no slack. The right arm should be bent at 90 degrees and be rotated out about 45 degrees. Internally rotate the right arm, bringing your hand and the cable handle towards the left side of your stomach, while keeping your upper arm as close to your side as possible. Return back to the starting position; that’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps for each arm using a very light resistance, but increasing it over time.


External Rotation – Keep the band or cable at the same height it was for the previous exercise. Arm should again be kept at a 90 degree angle and as close to your side as possible, but the starting position now has your hand rotated in. Basically, your ending position of the internal rotation is the starting position of the external rotation. Externally rotate your arm away from your stomach reaching about 45 degrees out. Return back to the starting position; that’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps for each arm, bearing the same principles as the previous exercise.


Lateral External Rotation – The handle should be at the same height. You’re going to be facing the door or cable machine on this one. Starting with your right arm, shoulder should be bent at 90 degrees and elbow should be bent at 90 degrees with your knuckles facing the door while you grab the handle. Rotate your forearm up, keeping your shoulder in place. It should look like your swearing an oath. Rotate the forearm back to the starting position; that’s one rep. Do the usual 3 sets of 12-15 reps for each arm. This exercise can also be performed with a light dumbbell.

You should feel a lot better after performing this routine for a while. Some even say that working their rotator cuffs has increased their bench press and shoulder press by as much as 15-20 pounds. If you want more workout routines, injury prevention tips, or customized workouts, feel free to contact us.


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