Top 3 Rotator Cuff Exercise Mistakes (FIX YOUR SHOULDER PAIN!)


What’s up guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. So Rotator Cuff Exercises, by now you should
know how important they are. If your watching our channel for any length of time, you realize
how important they are. You see, most poorly written workout programs
have such an imbalance between the number of exercises that internally rotate our shoulders
versus those that externally rotate our shoulders, there’s no surprise that we’re winding up
with so many guys that wind up with shoulder pain from working out. But it doesn’t have to be that way. But if you understand that you have to do
your shoulder external rotation exercises, that’s only half the battle. You see because a lot of times, what we’re
doing is we’re doing them wrong. See there’s three big mistakes that people
will make when they’re doing the rotator cuff exercises, or externally rotating exercises. And I think we need to address them here today
so that we’re making sure that you are not. You see the first is, when we do our external
rotation, you have to make sure that you’re really keeping your elbow tucked tight to
your side. As tight as you possibly can. If you have
to, you put a towel up under your arm to reinforce that. Now why the towel? Because the mistake is, when people go do
this, they try to cheat and get a little bit more room and a little bit more motion, so they let their elbow drift away from their
body. And what’s happening here is, they’re not
using their rotator cuff in isolation any more. Now they’re using their deltoid in addition
to their external rotation and a lot of times what will happen is, the deltoid will take
over and dominate. So it becomes more of a side lateral raise.
The towel will drop on the floor the minute you do that though. That’s why it’s a good idea to have it as
a visual feedback. The reason why that’s a problem is, the rotator
cuff in general is supposed to keep the heavy humerus centered inside of the glenoid. So inside the ball and socket you’re supposed
to have a centrally located ball. As you raise your arm up, whether it be through
an overhead press or a side lateral raise or a front dumbbell raise, that head needs to stay in the middle of the
joint, so that you don’t get a migration upwards that can cause a banging into the roof of
the acromion there, and a pinching of that rotator cuff tendon,
which will lead to that impingement. If you have the deltoid doing all the work,
all your doing is contributing more and more to the problem because the deltoid in the
first place wants to pull the head of the humerus up. The only muscles we have that counteract that
upward pull and keep it centrally located, are those boring old, three little rotator
cuff muscles. So let them do the job in the first place.
Let them actually work. The second mistake that we have to consider
and fix, is the position that we have with our upper body when we do the exercises. You see any external rotation exercise is
great but not if you’re doing it at a piss poor posture. You see if you have rounded shoulders like
this, you’ve just completely negated all the freedom you’re trying to create by keeping
the balance and strength in the rotator cuff muscles in the first place. See try this quick test with me. Get yourself
into bad posture. Allow your shoulders to round forward, let your shoulder blades round,
protract around your body. Get your shoulders rounded forward, exaggerate.
Now take your arm and try to raise it as high as you possibly can. This is it, this is as far as I can go before
it mechanically gets blocked. It’s literally hitting the roof of the acromion here, inside
my shoulder joint. Now if I put my shoulder blades in your back
pocket, all things will change. Now by just setting my shoulder blades, like
I said, down and back. You just want to let them be tight up against your rib cage. When I do that, now I raise my arm up I’ve
got way more freedom. Because I actually allowed the roof that was leaning forward here and
blocking the head of the humerus to now sit back, so now that humerus can come
up and actually move freely inside that socket. The third and final mistake is actually related
to the second one, and that is an inattention to the other half of the equation here. What is the actual shoulder blade doing? We
just covered how important the position of the shoulder blade is to the overall function
of the shoulder joint, so if you’re not worried about the position
of your shoulder blade at any point in time, then you’re really ignoring a main key component
of the goal of your shoulder external rotation exercises. So, we need to fix that. We need to realize
that two muscles will actually really position the shoulder blade where we want it to be,
that down into your back pocket position. That’s going to be your Serratus Anterior
and your Lower Trap. We can actually train these two muscles very, very easily. And with very little extra work in your workout. Here I’m demonstrating a Plank Plus. And it’s
actually done with a slight tweak. I have my arms, my forearms on the ground and I have them palms up, with my shoulders
and elbows in and my hands and forearms out a little bit, to get a little external rotation
into my shoulders. And from here, I’m trying to just push my
body away from my arms, keeping everything nice and tight and fixed. We’re getting a protraction of the shoulder
blades around my body and I’m just trying to push away, but again leave everything nice
and tight and stable. The Serratus Anterior is what’s getting the
focus of that work there and it’s trying to hold the shoulder blade nice and tight here,
as you can see on our skeleton. Nice and tight for the rib cage, because you
need that stability down. The second thing we need to do is to work
on the Lower Traps so that we can get the proper rotation of the shoulder blades, because when we raise our arm up, there’s
a huge amount of rotation that’s needed by the shoulder blade to do that. If your shoulder blades stay fixed, you’d
only get your arm up about two thirds of the way. So you need to make sure that you’re getting
the rotation of the shoulder blades and it has to stay tight to your rib cage. So you can do some of the exercises I’m showing
you here. The first can actually be done in two different
ways, either using the bar or using equipment. But it’s the same goal here. You can see me hanging from a pull up bar,
it’s that natural upper rotation that’s occurring here from the pull up position right as I
had my arms up and hanging over my body. But I want to just try to pull my body up
without allowing my elbows to bend. But now we’re getting in control and contribution
from the Lower Traps to help develop some strength and stability into the scapular component
of back lateral humeral joint. And I can do the same thing with a cable,
like a Lat Pull Down Setup, where I’m just trying to do that real bottom position there
and keeping my arms straight the whole time. You don’t have to do a lot of these guys,
you’ve just go to make sure you’re doing them right and you’re allowing the right muscles
to do the work. And that’s what it is guys, it’s not about
doing a whole lot extra. Matter of fact, we have ways that we combine
the rotator cuff into the exercises that we normally do. We realize that this big over reliance on
internal rotation in most programs is not going to cut it. And that’s why as a Physical Therapist, I’ve
put together the ATHLEANX Training System. So it’s not just about getting you big and
strong, we’ll do that, I promise you. But we’ll also do it in a way that we protect
your joints and help you get there safely. Guys, if you’re looking for a program to build
muscle but at the same time, realize and respect the longevity that comes with it so we can
actually do this for a long time. Then head to ATHLEANX.COM and get our ATHLEANX
Training System. In the meantime if you found this video helpful,
make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up below and we’ll keep making them. Alright guys, we’ll be back here again in
just a few days.

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