Another article about the
“So how much weight can you use for preacher curls?”
“I’m moving some heavy weight, how much can you use for kickbacks?”
“I’ve been struggling on those and I have a kickback meet coming up in a few months!”
I’ll take a wild guess and say this conversation has never and will never take place. The truth is the vast majority of individuals measure their strength and even their manhood based on how much they can
Back to the conversation we didn’t hear at the gym. What our friends above should have been asking each other isn’t how much weight they use when doing kickbacks but rather how much weight they use when they’re performing a lower pulley external rotation exercise. Did I lose you there? I know, I know we declared the
This is true, but have you ever heard the expression, you’re only as strong as your weakest link? When you
OK maybe now I have your attention. So how do you make sure your rotator cuff isn’t the weak link in your
The first thing you need to do is stretch the muscles you are about to train. Make sure you have warmed up for a good five minutes on the bike or treadmill before you start stretching. This will help you acquire greater flexibility. You already know stretching is important so just do it. You don’t need any equipment for this stretch. You can do it one arm at a time or with both arms at the same time. Extend your arms out from the torso at a right angle. Now bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Place your forearms on the frame of the doorway and lean forward. You will feel the stretch in your pecs and the back of your shoulders. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Next I want you to hang from a pull up bar for 20-30 seconds. This isn’t a grip strength test so no you don’t have to hang on for the full 30 seconds.
Cuban Press Rotation
Grab an EZ Curl bar and perform a wide grip upright row until the bar is a few inches below your collar bone. Now keep your elbows stationary while you externally rotate the bar as if you were trying to tap your forehead. Next you will press the bar overhead. Lower the weight along the same plane and repeat for ten reps. You will not be able to use the same weight you use for standard overhead presses due to the external rotation. This exercise won’t build your ego right now, but you’ll be thanking me when your
Cable External Rotation
Raise the pulley until it is even with your elbow. You’ll be standing sideways next to the weight stack so if your right hand is holding the handle, your left foot should be closest to the weight stack. Grasp the cable attachment with your far arm while keeping your elbow close to your side and forearm across your stomach. Your palm should be facing in. Pull cable attachment away from body by externally rotating your shoulder. Return and repeat. Turn around and continue with opposite arm.
Cable Internal Rotation
Again raise the pulley until it is even with elbow. You’ll be standing sideways next to the weight stack but this time if your right hand is holding the handle your right foot should be closest to the weight stack. Grasp the cable attachment with the closest arm. Keep your elbow close to your side with your palm facing in. Pull the cable attachment across your body by internally rotating your shoulder. Return and repeat. Turn around and continue with opposite arm.
90-Degree Dumbbell External Rotation
To finish off the infraspinatus, hold a dumbbell in each hand, and perform a lateral raise to 90-degrees while keeping the elbows bent at 90-degrees. Once your upper arms are parallel to the floor, externally rotate your arm so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. It will look like starting point of a dumbbell military press. Now lower and repeat. Remember to use light weight. The infraspinatus is a tiny muscle so it can’t handle a heavy load. The shoulder horn is a great piece of equipment that keeps your arms in place while you perform this motion.
Do three sets of ten repetitions for each exercise. Perform the routine once a week in conjunction with your current workout. This is important so listen up. The last thing you want to do is pre-exhaust your rotator cuff before training the
Points To Remember:
The muscles of the rotator cuff are very small. Even if you’re pushing five bills on the
Avoid lat pulldowns and military presses behind the head as they place the shoulder in a poor biomechanical position which enourages impingement.
Training your rotator cuff muscles can help you avoid pain, prevent future injuries, and fix muscular imbalances.
If you feel serious pain in your shoulder it may be too late. Go see a sports medicine physician.
We all know people who were really into bodybuilding/powerlifting and looked forward to