There are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis. These four muscles help lift the arm and rotate it away from the body by rotating the head of the shoulder when lifting the arm. The rotator cuff also acts as a dynamic stabilizer while lifting arms away from the body.
Repetitive overhead motions can wear down the rotator cuff muscles. Adequate strength and endurance of the rotator cuff is important for maintaining healthy shoulders. When there is a lack of adequate strength and endurance, this is where we can suffer rotator cuff injuries. Common injuries can be: rotator cuff tears, shoulder tendinitis, bicep tendinitis, shoulder bursitis, and frozen shoulder. These injuries can cause loss of range of motion and limited function of upper body extremities.
The techniques in this video are designed to be performed pre-workout or as a post-workout accessory piece. The video shows drills and techniques that can help build endurance and capacity in the ability to sustain external loads overhead. For these exercises you can use light handheld weights or resistance bands. Movements should be isolated and controlled. If you have had a significant injury or surgery, make sure to adjust the volume and load or resistance that you use.
Read More Sometimes Less is More: De-Loading Your Training Volume
For beginners, these drills should be performed 2-3 times per week, 2-3 sets with 7-10 reps, in no particular order. If you want a more structured program, visit our web page and take a look at our tracks for the Maddox Method.
Along with these injury prevention/rehab exercises, there are other things that we can do in our everyday lives to take better care of our shoulders:
Shoulder self care:
- Good sitting posture
- Decrease volume of OH movements
- Taking periodic breaks from repetitive movements
- Avoid sleeping on your side
- Avoid carrying your bag/purse on one shoulder