Skip to content

Warming up your rotator cuffs

Warming up your rotator cuffs

It goes without saying that there’s a clear need to warm-up the muscles before targeting them to be severely broken down and depleted. The purpose of the warm-up is to prepare the muscles for what is to follow, to prime them for what will be a very uncomfortable and stressing time for them.

By warming up thoroughly we’re not only making the muscles a lot more elastic with increased warmth and blood-flow but we’re also preparing our joints too, as our bodies will natural begin to secrete additional synovial fluid which acts as a sort of lubricant – very important for their respective welfare.

Far too many injuries occur by “going too heavy too quick” mostly because we want to be at our freshest for our heavier lifts – to a degree this is only natural, but nevertheless it still represents a bad training habit. Ironically though after we’ve thoroughly prepared ourselves for exercise we are anything up to 20% stronger so it’s certainly worth our time to make sure we do this correctly.

However as mentioned, this pretty much goes without saying – what does go without saying though is the extra attention that we must put into our rotator cuffs before commencing a brutal shoulder workout.

Why is this then? Why do the shoulders require this special attention?

It’s simply because of the nature of the joint. Unlike many of your hinge joints that only flex one way our shoulders are essentially “ball in socket” joints allowing for the greatest range of motion in our entire bodies.

Please spend 5 minutes and consider the link below:

There’s certainly a lot going on in the anatomy of the shoulder and it’s all in quite a confined space. I mean look at the hips for example, another “ball in socket’ joint but much larger and a lot less crowded.

The shoulders are by far and away the most used muscles of the body and contract directly and/or underpin pretty much every single exercise of the upper body and more than a few of the lower body. It’s because of this involvement that you’ll rarely come across a serious trainer with over 10 years experience who hasn’t suffered problems with their shoulders.

This is quite a concern as 10 years in the bigger context of our “training lives” should be no time at all. Elite bodybuilders also rarely escape these dangers we face, the most common surgery among IFBB pro’s has always been to attend to shoulder injuries.

Let’s face it, if we’re injured we are of no help to ourselves, all progress will inevitably grind to a halt and this will also have a potentially profound effect on our mindset. We’ll no doubt become miserable and frustrated!

So, warm-up your rotator cuffs before training shoulders!

The key to preventing shoulder injuries lays with the conditioning of the much smaller rotator cuff muscles and their respective tendons. In fact the tendons receive very little oxygen and nutrients from your blood supply which is often the case why they take so long to recover from injury – increasing your frustration.

An unfortunate consequence of the shoulders having the largest range of motion is that they’re most vulnerable to injury, especially as they are underpinned by the smaller, much lesser known rotator cuff muscles and tendons. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link” is an old cliché but regarding the development of your shoulders it happens to hit the nail perfectly on the head.

Prevention is absolutely key and below is a fantastic video of a comprehensive list of 7 different exercise that will help condition the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff. As you can see cables can also be used instead of the resistance bands and in some cases small dumbbells too.

Remember these muscles are very small by nature so the weight and intensity you use will have to reflect this accordingly. You’ll be able to protect yourself nicely by alternating a combination of just 2-3 of these movements for 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions – you’ll be glad you did!


Disclaimer: All exercises on this site are intended for healthy individuals without any present medical conditions. If you are currently experiencing any bone, joint, or musculoskeletal pain, we advise you to consult a licensed health care professional prior to commencing any of the exercises suggested within this site. The author, editor, and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility and liability for any injury arising from the use and application of the information provided within this site.

Share This Post

Our Product Categories

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *