Shoulders are the most movable joints in the human body which makes them prone to possible injuries. Three bones: the scapula, the clavicle and the humerus comprise the shoulder joint. Muscles, tendons and ligaments keep your shoulders in a normal (stable) position. This coupled with the fact that the ball of the humerus is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it.
Shoulder pain is one of the most common health issues facing Americans, with over 13 million Americans visiting a doctor yearly; over 20% have a tear in their rotator cuff.
People over the age of 40 have the greatest risk of suffering a rotator cuff tear due to natural wear and tear of aging. Also, at risk are those who work manual labor jobs that require overhead work such as painters and carpenters. Overuse in sports like baseball and tennis can also lead to rotator cuff tears. Bad falls or traumatic injuries are also culprits in causing rotator cuff tears.
Rehab your rotator cuffs with loop resistance bands; a low impact, portable solution to help rehab and strengthen your shoulders.
Use a resistance band that provides enough tension for you to complete 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per shoulder exercise. Perform these exercises 3 times per week for optimal results.
EXERCISE #1: SHOULDER ABDUCTION TO 90 DEGREES
Stand on the band with your left foot while holding the band with your left hand. Keep your elbow straight, lift the band up to 90 degrees to shoulder level. Hold at the top for 1-2 seconds then lower slowly to starting position. Repeat with opposite side, aim for 10-15 reps on each side.
EXERCISE #2: EXTERNAL ROTATION
Attach the resistance band to a secure anchor at belly button height. Stand perpendicular to the resistance band and grab it with your outside hand. Keep your elbow at your side then move the band away from your body by squeezing your shoulder blade in towards the middle of your back. You can place a towel between your elbow and your hip to help stabilize your elbow. Slowly return to starting position. Then repeat on the opposite side.
EXERCISE #3: INTERNAL ROTATION AT 0 DEGREES
Start in the same position of exercise #2 with the resistance band secured to the side at belly-button level. Bend your elbow at 90 degrees, keep your elbow at your side while moving your hand towards your stomach. You can place a towel between your elbow and your hip to help stabilize your elbow. Slowly return to starting position. Repeat with opposite side.
EXERCISE #4: EXTERNAL ROTATION AT 90 DEGREE ABDUCTION
Attach the resistance band to a secure anchor at chest-height. Grab the band with your left hand, keeping your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Pull up by squeezing your shoulder blade so that your forearm is directly over your elbow. Try to keep your wrists as straight as possible. Then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite side.
EXERCISE #5: WALL CRAWL WITH EXTERNAL ROTATION
Double up the loop resistance band around your forearms. Lean into the wall with your forearms shoulder width apart. Now keep your shoulder blades down while you crawl your forearms up the wall until the band is at eye level. Then crawl back down to the starting position.
EXERCISE #6: SHOULDER EXTENSION
Attach the resistance band to a secure anchor above your head. Reach up and grab the band with your left hand. Keeping your elbow straight, extend your arm backwards towards your body. Hold briefly at the bottom before returning to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
EXERCISE #7: SHOULDER FLEXION TO 90 DEGREES
Stand on the band with your left foot. Grab the band with your left hand and lift the band straight in front of you, keeping your elbow straight and your thumb pointing upward. Slowly lower to starting position. Repeat with the opposite side.
You can perform these rotator cuff exercises as an addition to your normal training routine or a stand-alone dynamic stretching routine. By strengthening the muscles surrounding your shoulder joints you can prehab, rehab and prevent the chances of future injuries. Resistance bands offer a low impact solution to exercising and strengthening your shoulders. However, please consult your doctor iif you're experiencing the following symptoms.
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