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Plyometric Exercises for Strengthening Rotator Cuff

March 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

Plyometric exercises are advanced exercises used for the final stages of strengthening the shoulder in rehabilitation.  It is also used for sport-specific conditioning, especially for athletes.

Plyometics is a form of exercise that involves the quick stretching, then contracting of muscle from an eccentric muscle action to a concentric muscle action.

Several researchers have found this to increase muscle force production.

There are specific range of motion exercises for rotator cuff that you can also try.  The following  is the best plyometric exercises that you can do to help strengthen your rotator cuff and shoulder.  This should be the last rotator cuff exercise that you should finish up with.

90-90 Ball Release and Catch Exercise

90-90-catch-release

- Lie facedown on a table or bed, with your arm over the edge

- Abduct your shoulder 90° from body and bend your elbow 90°

- Start with a light ball or in this case an apple, but work up to a heavier ball, ie: baseball, pool ball

- Keep your forearm parallel to the floor and release the ball

- Quickly catch the ball before it drops more than a short distance

- Return your forearm to the starting position

- Do 15 repetitions

Word of Caution: This exercise is intended primarily for throwing athletes. If you are not familiar with the 90/90 overheard throwing position, then this exercise is to be avoided or used extremely cautiously.

It can be made easier by using a soft squeezable ball, instead of a weighted ball.

The use of plyometric exercises like the one above is very effective for not only shoulder strengthening but for speed performance and hand-eye coordination.

plyometric exercises rotator cuff

Rotator Cuff Range of Motion Exercises

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

rotator-cuff-range-of-motion-exercises The answer to all and any sort of repetitive strain injury is to first avoid the activities that aggravate your injury and secondly start implementing exercises that will help strengthen your injured tendons and muscles.

There is no need to join a fitness club or become a member of gym to start with these exercises.  If you have a damaged rotator cuff, then rotator cuff range of motion exercises are a perfect way to get started that are safe to do and will not make your injury worse.

Range of motion exercises are meant to improve the blood flow to your shoulder region, accelerate healing and to improve your shoulder’s range of motion.

The reason why range of motion exercises are so effective is that they incorporate the use of high repetition counts(usually at least 15 reps) where as with stretching you need to hold the stretch.  Sometime people stretch to far which can cause more damage to the affected area.

Performing these types of exercises for rotator cuff tendonitis in the standing position will not only improve your shoulder’s strength but it will work your core as well.

The only thing required to perform range of motion exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff is a dowel, yardstick, hockey stick or broomstick.

When you first start out with these exercises, please remember not to do any exercise that increases your shoulder pain. It is normal to feel a little tightness or pulling but they shoulder not be painful.

In the beginning, it’s important to get the proper form and motion down pat.  So you should start out slowly and conservatively then progress as you become more used to the activity.  As you continue with these exercises, you will undoubtedly see an increase in your shoulder strength and an improvement in your shoulder’s range of motion, not to mention a considerable decrease in shoulder pain.

Therefore, you can add weights to the end of your stick to help improve overall rotator cuff muscle strength.  The added weight will also provide more resistance for the strengthening phase.

If you are looking for the best rotator cuff range of motion exercises, click on the red Learn More button where you will get over 40 of these exercises to help repair your torn rotator cuff fast – from the comfort of home!

range of motion exercises

How Lat Pulldowns Can Cause Shoulder Pain When Done Wrong

March 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

lat-pulldowns-shoulder-painDid you know that your Latissimus Dorsi muscle, also known as your back muscle, is the largest muscle in your body?

If you are like many people who exercise in a gym or fitness center, one of the most popular exercise that targets your back muscles are Lat Pulldowns.  This exercise is normally performed on a Lat Pull Down Machine or some sort of high pulley or cable machine.

This is an exercise that many people get wrong which can result in a rotator cuff strain.  From swinging way too far back, to using too much weight, too working the biceps.  This can all lead to shoulder pain and injury, especially to your rotator cuff muscles.

You may notice that after a few months of using the pull down machine, lat pulldowns cause you shoulder pain!

The Lat pull down exercise is meant to strengthen your Latissimus Dorsi muscles and nothing else.

A word of caution: If you do lateral pull downs behind your neck, it stresses the back of the neck and the shoulder blade, unnecessarily, and you run a risk of compressing your rotator cuff or even worse causing compression of your spine.

You should NEVER perform this exercise where bring the bar down behind your neck.  It honestly causes more harm than good!

The safest and most effective setup for this exercise to really hit and target your back muscles is to recline your torso to about 20 degrees and then slowly pull the bar down in front of you to the top of your chest.  Squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward.

Focus on maintaining a stable spine position throughout the movement and avoid jerking the weight or leaning back to use your body weight to pull the bar down to your chest.

If you still want to perform this exercise at home without a machine, you can use tubing.  Simply secure the tubing over the top of your door or perhaps on the door handle.  You can sit and position yourself on the floor.

lat pulldowns shoulder pain

How the Chest Fly Machine Can Aggrevate Your Rotator Cuff

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

chest-fly-machine-rotator-cuff Most men want a chiseled and toned chest.  To attain this, there are specific exercises that can help thicken your Pectoralis muscles and give them a perfect half-moon shape.

An exercise that you can do at the gym to help sculpt your chest is on a machine called the Pec-Deck or Chest Fly machine.  The problem that can arise when performing this exercise is that you can actually make your rotator cuff injury worse or even cause a rotator cuff injury.

Here’s how to avoid making your rotator cuff pain and/or shoulder injury worse and how to properly and safely setup for this exercise.

Step 1 – The is the biggest mistake that most people make – seat height.  Adjust your seat height so that your elbows are just below shoulder height as your grasp the handles.

Step 2 – As you grasp the handles, be sure to pull and squeeze your chest muscles inward so that forearms are resting firmly on the pads.

Step 3- Make sure you not only focus on your chest muscles but be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together throughout the positive and negative motion of the repetition.

Step 4 – Always keep your elbows forward, forearms on the pads so that your elbows come together at the center in front of your chest.

Step 5 – Another common mistake on the return or negative repetition is allowing your elbows to go back past your body.  It’s important to not allow your elbows to go past the front of your body or trunk.

Most people when doing this exercise allow their elbows to go way back behind their body’s midline.  When your elbows go all the way back, it causes undue stress on your rotator cuff and shoulder.

Please note that this rule applies to flat bench or incline flies with dumbbells as well!

When you exercise, it’s supposed to help strengthen your body and protect it from injury.  Any sort of pain as you exercise can cause inflammation and swelling which does you more harm than good!

Even though your rotator cuff consists of four muscles, these muscles are not very big and can easily suffer an injury if you use weight that is too heavy or by performing too many repetitions, especially if you have poor form or you’re doing an exercise incorrectly.

When you feel pain – stop – it’s as simple as that!

Many people in the gym go by the saying, “no pain – no gain”.  This is not the case when it comes to rotator cuff rehab and overcoming and avoiding injury, especially a rotator cuff injury.

Have you been noticing that you find it challenging to put on your coat, wash your hair or a little shoulder pain or discomfort at night?

If these symptoms sound familiar to you then you may already have a rotator cuff injury.  The good news, bad news is that if you take the “wait-and-see approach” when it comes to rotator cuff injuries, your chances of recovery are less.

Due to the fact that tears to your rotator cuff mostly occur from performing repetitive actions and movements over an extended period of time, they need to be treated as soon as possible.

Luckily, when you click on the Learn More button below, a video will show you how to treat and repair your torn rotator cuff from the comfort of your own home in just 4 steps!

chest flyes rotator cuff

Why Tricep Dips Can Make Your Rotator Cuff Pain Worse

March 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

tricep-dips-bad-rotator-cuff A general perception among the general public is that the larger a man’s arms, the stronger he must be.  Also, based on survey’s, women rank big, toned arms as their 3rd most admired body part in a man behind a flat stomach and chiseled chest.

As a result, you see many men in the gym trying to build up their arms.

If you want bigger arms, then don’t focus solely on your biceps.  Your tricep muscle is much bigger than your bicep and it’s easier to build large triceps.  Your tricep muscle is actually made up of 3 heads consisting of the lateral, medial and long heads.  The lateral head is responsible for giving you that “horseshoe” shaped tricep muscle that every guy wants to have.

The primary function of your tricep muscle is to extend your arm at your elbow.  In other words, moving your arm away from your body.

One of the most popular tricep exercises are tricep dips.   This is a fantastic body weight exercise that puts extreme load on your tricep muscle.  It is very challenging exercise even for the most experienced bodybuilders.

Tricep dips can actually make your rotator cuff injury worse and should be avoided if:

  1. You have A.C. (acromio-clavicular) joint arthritis
  2. You have ever had surgery on your rotator cuff
  3. You have any instability in the shoulder area or had frozen shoulder treatment
  4. You have any rotator cuff injuries presently

The mistake that many people make when performing the tricep dip exercise is lowering their body to a point where your elbow goes past a 90 degree angle.  The safe way and key to doing dips is (whether you are using a flat bench or some other set-up) to avoid lowering your body below this point.

There is no arguing that dips exert much stress on your entire shoulder.  Not just the joint itself but also your four rotator cuff muscles.

When you perform the dip exercise properly, you not engage your triceps but your chest and shoulder muscles are loaded as well.  If you are just starting out in the gym or have any sort of shoulder discomfort or pain, you are best advised to avoid this exercise altogether.

There are many other “shoulder friendly” exercises that you can do that can put mass on your triceps without having to worry about rotator cuff problems in the future.

For those who already notice a little shoulder discomfort, chances are you already have a small tear in one of your rotator cuff muscles.  Especially if you notice that your shoulder hurts after your workout or if your shoulder pain gets increases at night.

You can stop and prevent your shoulder and rotator cuff pain from getting worse quickly and easily by implementing simple steps at home without the need for any special exercise equipment.  Best part is that you can still hit the gym as your shoulder strengthens, heals and recovers.

tricep dips bad rotator cuff

2 Ways the Military Press Can Cause Rotator Cuff Damage

March 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

military-press-rotator-cuff Besides the bench press, the military press exercise is one of the worst exercises for causing rotator cuff damage and tears.  If you do the military press with dumbbells, your risk of tearing one of your rotator cuff muscles is even greater!

Despite the fact that the military press is a fantastic exercise to build and develop your shoulders and keep your rotator cuff in shape, the mistake that many people make when using a barbell is doing it behind their head.

This causes rotator cuff pain plus undue stress on the back of your neck and shoulder blade.

If you continue to perform the military press behind your neck, your Supraspinatus, Subscapularis, Infraspinatus or Teres Minor may eventually tear due to the stress and strain.

Behind the neck presses puts these 4 rotator cuff muscles in unnatural positions and creates angles that doesn’t allow the muscles to move and function as they normally do.

What you need to keep in mind to avoid a rotator cuff injury and going under the knife for a rotator cuff repair, is to make sure that you do not bring your arms down lower than shoulder height, parallel to the floor.

It’s important to keep your arms in the scapular plane at a 30 degree angle from your body, with the top part of the movement(arms pushing upwards) being more forward than back behind your neck.

Another mistake that many people make is arching their back away from the backrest.  This is a sign that the weight you are using is too much  or that you are fatiguing. You should keep your back firmly against the backrest at all times.

A quick way to improve your posture and ensure you are doing the military press properly is to sit on an exercise ball or use a flat bench without a backrest.  This will force you to sit up tall and use weights that are light enough so the spine’s position does not change from the start of the movement to the end.

If already notice that you have shoulder stiffness or pain, especially at night, then you are most likely already suffering from a torn rotator cuff.  But you can recover, repair and strengthen these muscles fast and without having to skip your workouts.

Even better, all it really takes are 4 simple steps that you can do at home without the need for any special exercise equipment.  Click on the Learn More button below to Discover these 4 easy steps!

military press rotator cuff damage

Frozen Shoulder Treatment

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

frozen-shoulder-treatment The internet is awash with good and bad advice on how to treat various injuries and conditions.  You should always consult a medical doctor before you start any treatment plan to ensure that you have been diagnosed properly.

If you are suffering from the “cousin” of rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder,  then treatment involves non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation over the short term, warm moist heat applied, stretching, range of motion exercises, strengthening exercises and application of ice after exercise.

The key to effective frozen shoulder treatment, and where most people go wrong,  is to use your affected shoulder as much as possible, in order to avoid making your shoulder condition worse.

It’s important to implement shoulder stretching and range of motion exercises to assist in the breaking up of  the “tightening” phase.

Be aware that if you suffer from frozen shoulder and if your pain significantly increases before you get to a position in the range of motion where the  tightness and stiffness starts to be experienced, you are probably a candidate for injection therapy before starting mobilization.

If cortisone shots do not work, the next treatment option for frozen shoulder is manual manipulation by a specialist while you are under anesthesia.

If you want to ensure that your frozen shoulder treatment works, there are 4 things you must keep in mind:

1. Make sure the frozen shoulder exercises you do are specific to the condition, so that you do not make your injury worse.

2. Avoid all activities and exercises that cause shoulder pain.

3. It’s best practice to perform stretching and range of motion exercises with your affected arm daily and apply heat before the exercise and ice after the exercises.

4. Don’t expect your frozen shoulder to be cured overnight.  Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to treating frozen shoulder.  The key is to be consistent, as it can take a great amount of time to heal and recover from this injury.

Not many individuals who suffer from frozen shoulder know that the treatment methods are same as that of a rotator cuff injury.  In fact, there are just 4 simple steps that you need to know and follow.

Even better, you can implement these 4 techniques at home without the need for any medical devices or exercise gadgets to get shoulder pain relief fast and improve your range of motion.

If you’ve had enough of your frozen shoulder pain and want to treat it at home – here’s your chance!

Simply click on the button below to watch a short video tutorial on how easy it is to get started.

frozen shoulder treatment tips

4 Ways the Lateral Raise Can Cause Rotator Cuff Issues

February 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

lateral-raises-cause-rotatoWhile rotator cuff injuries commonly occur in sports that involve repetitive overhead arm and throwing movements, individuals who hit the gym a couple of times a week are also at risk.

There are specific exercises at the gym that are known to cause rotator cuff injuries but for the purpose of this article, we will expose how the lateral raise exercise can cause rotator cuff problems.

The abduction or lateral raises are meant to strengthen the lateral deltoid, but it is probably the exercise that is done wrong most consistently. When done wrong it ends often in rotator cuff tendonitis.

Besides these 7 exercises to avoid when you have a damaged rotator cuff, there are  4 mistakes that people make when performing the lateral raise exercise that can cause damage to your rotator cuff or prevent your rotator cuff from fully healing such as:

1) Raising your arms above shoulder level beyond parallel.  To get maximum benefit from this exercise, you should stop at 80 degrees, just below shoulder height or even less if the movement causes pain. If you go above parallel, you are simply increasing your chances of shoulder impingement and rotator cuff damage.

2) Using dumbbells that are too heavy. Even though your deltoids are a good size muscle, you want to use light weights to ensure you really target them and to avoid engaging other muscle groups. A simple test you can do to see if the weight is too heavy for you is to see if you can hold the dumbbell at the top of the position for 2 seconds before lowering
to start position.  If you can’t, then you are using too much weight.

3) Improper stance when starting the exercise.  You see many people doing this exercise with a wide stance.  You want to stand with your legs slightly apart with your knees relaxed and bent.  A shorter, relaxed stance will have allow for an improved balance, core muscle engagement and ensure that your back is kept straight. Remember to keep your elbows bent at a 20-30 degree angle.

4) The fourth mistake when performing the lateral raise exercise is keeping your arms straight and lifting straight out and up from your side.  The key is to keep your shoulders in the scapular plane, 30 degrees away from your body. This ensures less stress on your shoulder joint and rotator cuff.

A great alternative to using dumbbells is cables or tubing. Doing so allows for a more fluid and controlled movement.  If you are using tubing, stand in the middle of the tubing and raise the ends in a similar fashion to the lateral raise.

This is a great alternative to using a dumbbell, especially if the dumbbell leads to pain. There are multiple grades of tubing available, so you can try several until you establish the right pain-free range of motion and resistance.

If you already have shoulder or rotator cuff pain, did you know that you can easily treat and erase your shoulder pain at home in just 4 simple steps?

When you click on the Learn More button, an instructional video will reveal these 4 steps that you can do right now to stop your shoulder pain for good!

lateral raises bad for rotator cuff

7 Exercises to Avoid When You Have a Damaged Rotator Cuff

February 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

7-exercises-damaged-rotator When you suffer from any sort of injury, you constantly hear people telling you to “Do this, but Don’t do that”.  Everyone has their own opinion and what works for some may not always work for others.

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!

7 exercises damage rotator cuff

iPad Shoulder Pain

February 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

ipad shoulder painWe all love new gadgets!  With the invention of these gadgets and technologies, our health and well being is usually a second thought as we want to spend time enjoying our “new toy”.

A fairly new gadget that has taken the world by storm is the iPad.  But it has created a new medical condition referred to as iPad shoulder.  Now the iPad itself is not directly responsible for this injury, it is more about how the end user interacts and sits while using the device.

Now I shouldn’t just single out the iPad here as just as many people who use any other tablet device are too complaining about shoulder pain.  The direct cause of this shoulder stiffness and pain has to do with the way you hold your device.

When you sit in front of a Laptop or Desktop computer, you sit in an upright, solid posture position.  Whereas when you sit and hold an iPad or tablet device, you are more in a flexed position or posture.

As you hold your tablet device in your lap, the angle at which you bend/flex your head and neck is greater than if you were viewing a Laptop or Desktop computer.  As a result of this increased angle of your neck, this puts strain and pressure on your shoulders.

So what is a simple fix to stop your shoulder stiffness, pain and discomfort while viewing our iPad or tablet?

Get your device up off your lap and onto a higher surface!  This will immediately force your head and neck upwards, take stress and pain away from your shoulders plus improve your posture all at the same time.

It’s best to put your iPad or tablet up on a table and tilt up off the flat surface of the table.  The standard iPad cover allows you to angle your device which lifts your head and neck for better and more relaxed viewing.  I recommend you purchase some sort of cover or stand so that you are able to use and view your tablet device in a more vertical angle.

Long term use of viewing your iPad or tablet while it is placed in your lap can lead to one of the more common shoulder injuries, a rotator cuff injury.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain at night, you find it difficult to reach behind your back to retrieve your wallet from you pants pocket, need help putting on your coat or jacket, or have noticed a decrease in the normal range of motion and flexibility of your shoulder – then you may very well have a rotator cuff injury.

My best advice is to click on the button below to learn more about your rotator cuff injury and shoulder pain but more importantly, Discover 4 steps to completely eliminate your iPad shoulder pain right now at home!

ipad pain shoulder

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