In this video, I wanted to go through a great little tweak that you can do to the push-up to target the rotator cuff better.
You may have heard of the rotator cuff, or you have experienced a rotator cuff injury. Most people are not aware of what the rotator cuff is. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles that protect the shoulder joint and allow you to rotate your arms and move your arms above your head, such as when you are playing sports or swimming. The rotator cuff is made of muscles and tendons that work to keep the head of your humerus (your upper arm bone) in your shoulder socket. There are four rotator cuff muscles. The supraspinatus muscle holds your humerus (upper arm bone) in place and stabilizes the humerus. It also helps you lift your arm. The infraspinatus muscle is key for rotating and extending your shoulder. Your teres minor muscle is the smallest of the rotator cuff muscles and assists in rotating your arm away from your body (external rotation). Finally, the subscapularis muscle helps hold your humerus to your scapula (shoulder blade). It also helps you rotate your arm, hold it straight out and lower it.
Some common rotator cuff injuries include a rotator cuff tear, tendinitis, and bursitis. A rotator cuff tear often occurs as a result of wear and tear from everyday use. That is why this injury is more common in individuals who move their arms in the same way repeatedly, such as painters, carpenters, or certain athletes. You can also experience a rotator cuff tear if you fall suddenly on your arm or lift something really heavy. Tendinitis is inflammation in the tendon. A tendon attaches a muscle to a bone, so in this case, the tendon attaches one of the four rotator cuff muscles to a bone in the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tendinitis causes pain just outside of the shoulder joint. Bursitis is when a bursa (which is a small, fluid-filled sac that protects the rotator cuff) gets irritated. This can also happen from repetitive movements, or by an infection. Many rotator cuff injuries can be treated at home or with a physical therapist, while others require medical attention, medication, and even surgery.
This push-up tweak involves utilizing a mini resistance band.
A Push Up Tweak to Rehab the Rotator Cuff
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I had Donnalee demonstrate the exercise.
Put the mini band between your wrists. Move into the push-up position, adjust your hands to the position that you want to be in, and do the push-up movement.
Push Up with Mini Band on the Wrists
With this exercise, the mini band is working to bring your hands in while you are fighting to keep your hands separated and prevent your shoulders and elbows from rotating. You have to work to rotate those elbows out, activate those lats, and activate the rotator cuff while the mini band is working on trying to bring you inwards.
If you don’t feel enough resistance with the mini band down at your wrists, you can move it further up your arms. You can start in a rotated position, move to a rotated out position and go through the push-up movement.
Push Up with Mini Band on the Forearms
The mini band is trying to rotate your arms which affects the shoulder. You are working on activating those lats and those external rotators in the shoulder (like the rotator cuff) to prevent that rotation.
Start with the wrists. If you do not feel it very much, you can move it up on the forearm and start with the rotated position, work your way out, hold that outward rotation position and go through that push-up movement. Fight the resistance from that tubing to target the rotator cuff more.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
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