Most people are not aware of rotator cuff exercises and as such very few people actually use them during their workout.
This is a big mistake.
You need to exercise your rotator cuff consistently with specific rotator cuff strengthening even if you've never experienced any shoulder pain or have any shoulder injury, and here's why...
One of the main reasons is that well developed rotator cuff muscles will help you increase your strength in almost all body building and physique development exercises.
It's a fact that without rotator cuff strengthening exercises you will not be able to reach the goals that you have for your chest, back or shoulders.
Rotator cuff exercises are key to the proper development of all these muscle groups. If you are lacking development in any of these areas the reason may be as simple as weak rotator cuff muscles but this problem can be overcome very easily.
Another important reason for specific rotator cuff exercises, performed consistently, is safety. Your rotator cuff muscles are very important in being able to help prevent a host of injuries.
A large number of upper body exercises will work and develop the internal rotator cuff muscles but neglect the external rotators.
These muscle imbalances can lead to a lot of shoulder problems over time. The external rotator cuff muscles can only be trained with specific rotator cuff exercises not any body building or regular weight lifting exercises.
Your shoulder joint is very complex and is made up of bones, muscles and tendons and provides range of motion for your arm. Therefore it's important, even if you don't exercise a lot, for you to develop your rotators properly.
The main cause of most shoulder injuries and rotator cuff injuries is basically general wear and tear. Your rotator cuff muscles don't receive much oxygen and nutrients from your blood supply resulting in being vulnerable to this problem.
Another cause of shoulder injuries and rotator cuff injuries is due to the force and strain placed on your shoulders day after day. Bigger problems can result when you lift heavy objects.
A perfect example is all body building and physique development exercises.
You'll know when you have a problem with your rotator cuff. You'll experience pain, weakness and a lack of mobility in your shoulder or arm. In fact you may not be able to raise your arm above your head or to extend your arm directly to the side or in front.
The following is a list of some of the most effective rotator cuff strengthening exercises that also work very good as rotator cuff stretches. There are number of very important points however, that you must be aware of before starting any rotator exercise.
Specific rotator cuff exercises can and will dramatically increase your shoulder joint stability.
You will need a barbell for this rotator cuff exercise.
Grip the barbell with a wider than shoulder width position. Perform an upright row until the bar is just below your chest. From this position, while holding your elbows steady, rotate the bar up to your forehead.
Now press the bar straight up then just reverse the procedure to the starting point and repeat.
For pulley exercises you will need to use a weight stack with a standard pulley handle.
Position the pulley handle at the lowest point you can. Stand in front of the weight stack with the arm you are using (start with your weakest arm first on all rotator exercises) directly in front of the stack.
With your shoulders back and your back nice and straight grip the handle with your working arm and with your elbow high and to the side, rotate your forearm up. You must remember that with this exercise and most others you need to keep your shoulder and elbow perfectly still.
Position the pulley handle at the lowest point you can. Stand to the side of the weight stack with the arm you are using to the side of the stack.
In other words if your left arm is doing the work your right foot should be in front of the weight stack.
With your shoulders back and your back nice and straight grip the handle with your working arm and pull it across your body until it's at upper thigh level on the opposite side.
You start from this position. Flex your elbow approximately 90 degrees with your upper arm close to your. Now rotate your shoulder back as far as you can, while preventing your body from moving, to the same side as the arm you are using.
Note! We would like to make one more very important point:
Injury prevention is the best way to go in order to maintain rotator cuff health. Don't wait until you injure your shoulder before starting any rotator cuff exercises. Start now and continue to do them on a regular basis.
Make rotator cuff strengthening exercises a key part of your body building and physique development program. Almost any rotator exercise will ensure proper shoulder functioning, strength and flexibility. In addition, rotator cuff strengthening exercises are key for improving all of your upper body exercises and developing your chest, shoulder and back muscles.