7 Exercises to Avoid When You Have a Damaged Rotator Cuff
When it comes to preventing or recovering from a torn rotator cuff, there are specific exercises that you should avoid all together. The pain associated with a torn rotator cuff is severe to say the least – especially at night! Continuing with certain exercises will absolutely diminish any hope or chance of repairing your rotator cuff.
The best way to recover from any type of RSI, even with rotator cuff injuries, is to incorporate exercises specific to your injury but this usually involves the modification of exercises as to not make your injury and condition worse.
Some people choose to take a wait and see approach, avoid the activity, movement or exercise that caused your injury in the first place or rest as a form of treatment but strengthening exercises in my opinion are the way to go!
Below are 7 exercises that you should avoid if you have a rotator cuff injury or if you want to avoid one in the future.
1) Military press. The military press is a movement where you press a barbell or dumbbells from your shoulder straight up overhead. It is common for many individuals to use way to much weight for this exercise. As a result it puts extreme pressure on your shoulder’s muscles and joint.
2) Shoulder press. The shoulder press is sometimes referred to as the military press but mostly performed on a machine as opposed to using barbells or dumbbells. The same risks go for the shoulder press as for the military press above.
3) Bench press. The bench press has got to be the worst and most dangerous exercise for causing rotator cuff injuries. First and foremost, most people have terrible form when doing this exercise. They are more concerned with impressing people at the gym then actually taking care to ensure they don’t get injured!
The bench press puts severe strain on your shoulder muscles and ligaments of your shoulder. To make matters worse, most people bring the bar down to their chest which puts even more strain on your shoulder and rotator cuff muscles. You only need to go as far as 90 degrees with your elbows and then press the bar back up.
Make sure that you grip the bar at shoulder width as too wide of grip can also put your rotator cuff muscles at risk of tearing.
4) Decline bench press. The decline bench press has the same application as the bench press above.
5) Incline bench press. When performing the incline bench press, your deltoids are much more engaged than on the decline or bench press. As a result, the incline bench press can exhaust your shoulder/rotator cuff muscles faster which can result in fatigue and injury.
6) Upright Rows. To perform the upright row exercise, your shoulders are forced inwards due to the narrow hand positioning on the bar. When you lift upwards, your upper arm bone(aka Humerus) does not leave enough room for your shoulder blades to move freely causing them to rub against each other. This puts the four rotator cuff muscles under strain as they are forced to pull beyond their normal range of motion causing a rotator cuff injury.
7) Dumbbell pullovers. The goal of a dumbbell pullover is to expand your ribcage to give more room for your pectoral muscles. This is not true! All this exercise really does is cause rotator cuff and shoulder problems. There is absolutely no benefit to this exercise so just avoid it.
One thing to remember, especially if you have a rotator cuff or shoulder problem is to warm-up before doing any sort of exercise or sport. You want to increase the flexibility of your joints before working the muscle groups.
The key to any exercise, even as part of rehab or recovery system is to ensure that you always use proper form and lift/lower the weight in a slow controlled manner.
What if you have a rotator cuff tear and want to eliminate your shoulder pain and improve your flexibility and range of motion so you can get to all your favorite sports and activities that you have given up on?
It’s quite simple! All you need to know are 4 simple steps that you can do at home without the need for any medical devices or exercise gadgets. Click on the Learn More button below, where a short video will show you these 4 steps right now!