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John de la Garza 11-03-2004 03:51 PM

If I am doing exercises like power presses, pushups (or sometimes benchpress), rows, pullups, dips

will these work my rotator cuffs or should I still do some isolation work on them? I always stay away from isolation but I want to be very proactive in preventing any shoulder problems.

I'm confused to what the rotator cuffs do

Brian McCarrie 11-03-2004 04:35 PM

The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles that stablize your shoulder. Basically they keep the ball of your humoruos in place.

My shoulder injury is an overuse injury. When the rotator cuff gets over used the shoulder can start to feel un-stable and the tendon will start to rub on the bone causing pain. There are also impingent type injuries where basically the soft tissue gets pinched between bone during movement.

If you want to be proactive in preventing injuries just make sure that you warm your shoulder up properly. You could also do some rotator cuff specific exercises but I'm not sure you would want to. What I mean is, the rotator cuff muscles do get hit when you are doing the other exercises that you mentioned and working the rotator cuff too much could lead to an overuse injury.

I'm not a doctor or a threapist I'm just speaking from my own personal experience. Everything I know I've learned from articles that I've read. If I've made any errors in my descriptions please feel to correct me.

Hope this helps.

John de la Garza 11-03-2004 05:53 PM

I wish I could assess the ratio of strength for the different muscles in my r.c. and know if I should add more to my say presses or pulls to keep it in balance.

One of my top priorities for fitness and reasons why I workout is to avoid injury. I want to know what a good ratio is.

I'd like to know what exercises work what part and how to test how strong each rc muscle is, so I could adjust my work out to put it in perfect balance. My fear is that I am possilbe developing an imbalance.

What parts do what?

like are some of the muscle for pushing exercises and some pulling? or pushing at diff angles?

Brian Hand 11-03-2004 08:23 PM

Brian, I see what you are saying about overuse, but a stronger, better conditioned cuff will tolerate more work. Of course you don't want to try to beat a muscle out of overuse by working it hard and heavy! But a judicious amount of direct rotator cuff work can help prevent problems. If you're already having problems, it is not a great idea to try working the cuff without having a doctor or therapist look at it first.

John, the rotator cuff works hard to stabilize the shoulder during many exercises but it is not unusual for the prime movers to get strong faster than the cuff and cause problems. For beginners with no pre-existing imbalances, I don't think direct work is necessary. For someone who has gained some upper body strength, I think some direct external rotation work is a good idea but I don't think it's necessary to go past light weights. For someone who is pushing the envelope in upper body strength, a more detailed look might be a good idea.

Remember the idea is NOT to go heavy and fry the cuff. Easy does it. If it hurts, stop. Do it at the end of your workouts or at home later.

John de la Garza 11-04-2004 12:34 PM

to work my external cuff would that be like the opposite of arm wresteling?

Like if I hade a elastic cord to my right and held it in my left hand with my arm bent at 90 deg, then I would twist my left arm to the left?

moving it out?

it it typical for external cuffs to be weaker than internal? I'm assuming that is why you say work the ext

Brian Hand 11-04-2004 12:58 PM

John, you have the idea, opposite of arm wrestling is a good way to think of it. Weak external rotators are common, weak internal rotators not so. There's tons of info online, but feel free to email me if your Google efforts don't turn anything up, I'm sure I can dig up some links to pass along.

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