Prevent Injury in Your Shoulders-Rotator Cuff Training

With my son playing football and my hubby complaining of old injuries, I’ve been interested in how to best help out when it comes to certain complaints of pain.  The first in this Injury Training Series is within the shoulders.  Hurting our shoulders is a common injury. One that can plague you for a long time to come. While there are different reasons for injuries, a common complaint from pain in this area of the body is weak muscles around the Rotator Cuff’s.

We tend to work out  areas of our bodies that will show the most.  This tends to be our larger muscles and they give us that great “beach body” look. While looking good has it’s purposes, making our bodies healthy by working out all our muscles-even the ones we don’t see, couldn’t be more important.  These are the muscles that support the larger ones.  When they are weak, we can tear them from the tendons they are connected to causing us to not be able to utilize the muscle at all.  When this happens, usually surgery is needed to fix it!  To dive into this, let’s first look at what exactly is the Rotator Cuff.

Medical Definition of Rotator cuff

1. The rotator cuff is a tendon formed by three distinct muscles: teres minor, supraspinatus and infraspinatus, which stabilise the head of the humerus within the shoulder joint. Tendinitis or injury to the rotator cuff muscle can make shoulder abduction (lifting the arm out to the side) and external rotation painful. In most cases treatment includes rest, ice and physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder muscles. (13 Nov 1997)    * 


The muscles surrounding the R.C. need to work together to keep the ball in the socket and therefore keep injury at bay.  Typically, to have an actual tear within our Rotator Cuff, we would have had a severe blow to the shoulder area.  This could come from down-hill skiing, football, baseball or something else that would cause us to have our arm to come out of socket.  Many times though, our shoulder can hurt without such an extreme injury.  If there is a complaint about the shoulder, it could mean that this area has been stretched and the muscles around it are weak.  This could even happen during sleep!  If left unchecked and not worked out, range of motion in this shoulder could get worse and even get arthritis!  To avoid this, we need to work out the muscles that support the Rotator Cuff.  Since these muscles when strong keep the ball in the socket, we need to target this area as we would our bi-ceps or hamstrings!  Along with the strength, we need to have the muscles around the R.C. to also be flexible so that when we do fall or take a blow to the area, our muscle have the ability to give to some degree and protect the R.C. itself from injury.   Here are some exercises to help increase the strength and flexibility in this area:


Hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat.  Do them 5-7days a week.

  • Arm Over Head
  • Arm Across Chest
  • Towel Stretch
  • Hands Clasp Behind Stretch


Do these Standing upright and straight (even against a wall) keeping your shoulder steady.  Arm movement is the objective.  With all these exercises, use small weights and keep form tight.

3 sets/10-15 reps ea.

  • Cuban Rotate (small bar or small weights)
  • Hitch Hiker
  • Forward Arm Reach
  • Inverted Forward Arm Reach
  • Band Expand
  • Side Arm Reach
**All information contained within this site, Red Fox, is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician.  No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website.  Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.

5 thoughts on “Prevent Injury in Your Shoulders-Rotator Cuff Training”

  1. I’m impressed, I have to say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the problem is one thing that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I am very comfortable that I stumbled across this in my seek for something referring to this.

    1. Thanks Tracy! I enjoyed learning about this area. It seems so many have problems in their shoulders…We need to get better at stretching and training this important area of our bodies!

  2. The rotator cuff is almost every time a problem nowadays. inactivity, sitting sacrum. shortening of the long, ligaments and muscles. is one of the first trainings which I customized for my application.

    1. It’s important to hit these on a regular basis! At all ages too! Great job for adding that training in! Keep up the great work!

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