If our last blog on common signs of rotator cuff problems and why it's important to have strong rotator cuffs resonated with you, then you're probably wondering how to go about strengthening the muscles.
Over the next few weeks, we're going to go through the movements that the rotator cuff muscles are responsible for or assist with, and then show some exercises that will help strengthen them.
Let’s start by talking about the movement called external rotation – which is the movement of rotating your arm away from your body.
As you can see from the diagram, the line force which the muscles act is horizontal so it’s important that the exercises match this line of force.
Another exercise which is beneficial for rotator cuff strength is the standing external rotation exercise.
This exercise can be completed using a cable machine (available at our Health Club gym) or a resistance band tied to a sturdy and stable object – avoid using a dumbbell as the line of force that a dumbbell creates is a downward force rather than a horizontal force, so you won’t be training the right muscle.
When completing the exercise ensure:
- The cable or resistance band is at a good height so that it is in line with your forearm.
- Your shoulders are set back – think about rolling your shoulders back and down away from your ears.
- The movement is slow and controlled
The trick to strengthening your rotator cuff is in doing these exercises consistently. Try these two exercises for a total of 5 - 10 minutes every day. You can do these while you're watching television, waiting for your coffee, or even seated at your office desk.
In next week's post, we'll share some more external rotation exercises which you can incorporate and add on to your workout regime in order to fasten your recovery.