In this video, I want to go through a great safe exercise for the rotator cuff. This is an excellent exercise that challenges the rotator cuff in a safe way.
When it comes to rotator cuff exercises, you have to be very cautious and specific in order to recover from or avoid a rotator cuff injury.
Rotator cuff injuries are very common, but what really is the rotator cuff and how do you injure your rotator cuff? A rotator cuff is actually a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. These muscles and tendons work together to keep the head of the shoulder joint secured in the socket of the shoulder. If you experience a dull ache in your shoulder that gets worse when you move your arm away from your body, you may have a rotator cuff injury. Other symptoms include a dull ache deep in the shoulder, disturbed sleep, difficulty brushing your hair or reaching behind you, and arm weakness.
Rotator cuff injuries increase with age and are more likely to occur in individuals who have jobs that involve repeatedly performing overhead movements. Jobs like this include painters and carpenters. Rotator cuff injuries are usually treated with physical therapy exercises that improve flexibility and strength in the muscles of the rotator cuff. In the case of a tear in the rotator cuff, medical evaluation is necessary and surgery is sometimes necessary.
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Grab a dumbbell, starting off with a lightweight until you can get the technique right. Start loading it up, getting heavier and heavier as you gain proficiency with the exercise. This exercise is called the Farmer’s Carry.
Carry a dumbbell in one hand. Set your shoulders, bringing the shoulder blades together and tightening those muscles around your shoulder blade. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Start walking in a smooth, controlled manner while still maintaining your active shoulder position to make the shoulder blades tight and active. With this exercise, you are activating the scapular stabilization muscles: those shoulder blade muscles that are very important in recovering from and preventing a rotator cuff injury.
Give that exercise a go! If you have an old rotator cuff injury, are recovering from an injury in your rotator cuff, or if you are worried about injuring your rotator cuff, the Farmer’s Carry is a good safe exercise.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
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