Rotator Cuff Strength Strong Shoulders
- Written by Dave Gluhareff
Rotator Cuff Strengthening & Getting Stronger Shoulders from StrengthRunner.com
By Dave Gluhareff
One of the biggest issues I see in regards to weaknesses of the body that get overlooked when training are the Rotator Cuffs. Many people, especially Cross-Fitters, Power Lifters, and Bodybuilders miss strengthening this area all-together and weakness, pain, and injury always occur. Usually when the Rotator Cuffs are ignored most people notice weakness in their shoulders and then mild pain and discomfort then in one wrong ballistic move or using too much weight the trainee or Athlete gets injured.
We use in OCR and Survival Running with climbing, rings, bars, carries, etc. Plus running Ultra Marathon distances with my arm size I need strong shoulders to hold them up. Most importantly though is strong shoulders help me carry my big sons up to bed when they fall asleep on the couch or play sports with them, snow ski holding hands with them, or throwing them up in the air and catching them watching seeing them smile ear to ear!
As a Fitness Trainer since the middle-late 1990’s and dealing with thousands of clients and millions of readers I’ve always been known to be gentle starting out developing training programs but more than that I’m know to be thorough. Many people and also their trainers do not want to waste 5-10 min doing some foundational strengthening but put their whole strength and cardio or running program at-risk without some simple foundational strengthening. It’s simply a dumb laziness to skip these important moves that strengthen little muscles that aid and support the big muscles which maximize our fat burning, power, endurance, agility, balance, and speed.
Don’t practice dumb laziness!
Our Rotator Cuffs are comprised of 4 little muscles which are the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis which keep our shoulder ball and joints working safely together.
Plus the Anterior, Medial, and Posterior Delts – Front, Middle, and Rear of the Shoulders plus the Traps help keep all the shoulders strong for big pressing moves of Power and Olympic classes.
**STOP going into a workout unprepared in Crossfit or Power Lifting or Bodybuilding! When you only hit the big moves/exercises like Military Presses, Thrusters, Cleans, Clean & Presses etc you miss out on 75% of the rest of the shoulders!
Here’s a Sample Shoulder Strengthening Routine with some Proper Warmups:
Warmup 3 sets 15-20 reps:
Internal & External Rotation tubing (Pictured with animation)
also Internal/External Rotation with Dumbbells (Pictured with Dave)
2-5 sets of Light weights (15-20 reps) or Medium weights (10-15 reps) depending on what your goals are for Shoulders during the week like Cleans, Thrusters, etc. This should be done on your main Shoulder day or two days NOT before or after shoulder days. *Always have 2-3 days off in between these muscles getting worked.
- Front Presses with Shoulder Press Machine, Barbell, Dumbbells, Rubber Bands, Medicine Ball, or a Kettlebell
- Front Raises with Dumbbells (Anterior “Front Shoulders” Delts)
- Side Lateral Raises with Dumbbells (Medial “Middle Shoulders” Delts)
- Rear Lateral Raises with Dumbbells (Posterior “Rear Shoulders” Delts)
- Shrugs with Dumbbells (Trapezius Muscles “Traps”)