Avoid Shoulder Injury Rotator Cuff Exercises
Shoulder pain is a common problem among athletes. There are many reasons that cause an shoulder pain, but few reasons to mention that are; incorrect range of motion, too wide grip and weak rotator cuff. In many cases, shoulder pain occurs in bench press when pushing the weight from the bottom.
Shoulder pain and bench press
In 2004 I started to train bench press more seriously. I’ve been doing all things like mentioned on the book. I did lot’s of supporting exercises, like bench on a floor, half presses, close-grip presses, French presses, dumbbell raises, trained from various angles, using lot’s of negatives, explosive reps, super-sets.. But in spite of all, I still struggled with a terrible pain in my left shoulder.
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The other day I was doing bench press, one experienced lifter noticed that my grip was too wide and when I lowered the weight toward chest, I brought it too far so that my shoulder joint strained too much! Another common reason for shoulder pain is that people keep their elbow wide open although they should be pointed slightly inward when pushing the weight up.
You can test it by yourself. On a standing position, imagine yourself doing a bench press, while keeping your arms at the shoulder level, rotate your elbows slightly outward. Now do few reps by keeping your elbows pointed outward. You can feel more tension in your rotator cuff that in the chest muscles where it supposed to.
Training rotator cuff should be a part of your routine
It’s very sad to see people who are very excited about doing bench press while they completely ignore the most mobile and susceptible part in the upper body, a rotator cuff. It work as a stabilizer in every pushing movement.
Over 80% of shoulder injuries resulting from weigh lifting could be avoided by simply including rotator cuff exercises to your workout routine. Why exposing yourself for these fatal injuries when it could be averted through rotator cuff exercises.
Rotator cuff consist total of four muscles, 1. Supraspinatus, 2. Subscapularis, 3. Teres minor, 4. Infraspinatus. These four muscles are connected with scapula and humerus that works to stabilize shoulder. The purpose of these muscles and tendons are to stabilize shoulder in any particular movement. So it’s vitally important to train your shoulder joint as well.
How to train rotator cuff?
Exercise #1 –
Upward extension: After a proper warm-up, do 2-3 exercises for rotator cuff. First, take a light (5-10 lbs.) dumbbell in one hand. Bring it to the side following the shoulder line. Place your arm at a 90 degree by raising your forearm up. Then slowly lower it until it’s parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders still while lifting the weigh up. Do 1-2 sets for 12-15 repetitions.
Exercise #2 –
Lying external rotator: Lie on your side either on the floor or a bench. Let your working arm rest on your side and create a 90 degree angle by the elbow. Lift the forearm toward up until you feel tension in your rotator cuff. Then slowly lower the weight back toward your abs. Do 1-2 sets for 12-15 repetitions.
Exercise #3 –
Rubber-band rotator: There are many great ways to utilize rubber-band to strengthen rotator cuff. You can attach one end to a pole getting a grip from other end of rubber. Stand about 3-6 ft away until the band gets tight. Bend your elbow 90 degrees and parallel to the ground so that your palm is facing toward the ceiling. Lift the band up by rotating with your arm. Lift as much as you can feel tension in your rotator cuff.
You can also do external and internal rotator movements by keeping your arm bent at 90 degrees and parallel to the floor except keeping palm facing to the side.
If things has gone so bad that you alrady suffered some type of shoulder injury and you want to get back on track as fast as possible, read my article of best techniques to recover from a shoulder injury