5 Best Rotator Cuff Exercises (2019 Essentials)


– So you wanna learn how to
strengthen your rotator cuff? Well, in this video, I’m
gonna show you the five top exercises that we’re rolling
out in our program in 2019 to strengthen those bad boys
so that you don’t get injured. And make sure you stick around to the end, because I’m also gonna
teach you the two things that people get wrong in
rotator cuff training. All that and more coming up. The gym that teaches
people how to move instead of just exercise, because
we believe that health is about performance, not just body image. Hi. In case we haven’t met,
my name’s Rad Burmeister, co-creator of the Foundation
Movement System and Unity Gym, where health is measured by
the way your body performs and feels, not just the
way you look, and where we teach you how to nourish and move, instead of diet and exercise. Now in this video, I’m gonna
teach you everything that you need to know about
strengthening your rotator cuff. So the first thing we
need to talk about with rotator cuff health and
strength is mobility. If you don’t have a good level of mobility in your shoulders, then
all of this work is not really gonna fix your problems. You really need to create
a high level of mobility. So we need mobility for
rehabilitating injuries, we need mobility for preventing injuries, and we need mobility for performance. So if you’ve got really tight shoulders, and forward-rounded shoulders,
then you’re gonna be getting impingement on muscles and on tendons in the shoulder girdle
and that’s gonna be adding to any risk of injury that
you have, or preventing you from healing any injuries. And it’s pretty obvious
why you need mobility if you wanna perform. If you can’t get your
arms above your head, or if you can’t do good
external and internal rotation, and all the other amazing
movements that the shoulder has, then you’re gonna run into problems. And this video isn’t a mobility video. I’m gonna show you some
strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff, so if
you do need to get more mobile shoulders, and to be quite
frank, most people do, then make sure you grab a copy of our free Flexibility Blueprint, and
there’s a link in the description there where you can grab it. So the next thing I wanna talk
to you about is the concept of strengthening both the
anterior and the posterior cuff, in the rotator cuff. It’s just like doing pushing
and pulling exercises, it’s really important that we
train … so the rotator cuff is made up of three muscles,
sorry, four muscles, and you’ve got three at the
back and one at the front. And what they do is they
all pull against the humerus and create like a force coupling. And they’re designed to best work in an isometric contraction,
meaning that they hold the glenohumeral joint in place there so that the shoulder
is nice and strong for when you’re exerting force through it. So, what we wanna do in
this video, is we’re gonna teach you how to progress
beyond what the basic internal and external
rotation exercises of the rotator cuff are. So the really common ones
that people use to strengthen the rotator cuff is
internal rotation for the subscapularis, and
external rotation for the infraspinatus and the teres
minor, and then people normally do the lateral band raises
for the supraspinatus. And they’re all really,
really good exercises, and they’re all great a rehab
level, but there comes a point where you need to progress
beyond that and start challenging the rotator cuff in the way
that it’s meant to be used, because the truth is
it’s not a prime mover, it’s not designed to create movement. And when you do things like these internal and external rotators, the
main muscles that are creating that movement are the
big prime movers like the biceps and the lats and
the pecs and the deltoids. So in this video, we’re
gonna take it a step further and get some advanced rotator
cuff training happening. First exercise we’re gonna do is called a foam roller wall slide. So from here we’re gonna put
the foam roller on the wall roughly at about mouth height, and I’m gonna put my
wrists on the foam roller. The further back I step, the harder it is. Now I’m gonna create a
posterior pelvic tilt by tensing my glutes and
sucking my stomach in, squeeze my elbows in
and keep my hands out. So the idea is that from
my fingertip to my elbows should be vertical and I’m
just going to go as far as I can without losing that. Now the big mistake that
people make with this is that they just go like
this and they tell me they’re not feeling anything. And you look at it, the
elbows are going out, the hands are coming in, and
that is not strengthening the rotator cuff at all. So it’s very important that
you keep your elbows in and hands out. Keep that posterior
pelvic tilt on, and for me even just to there, that’s murder. I feel the muscles in
the back of my shoulder, my rotator cuff, they’re on fire. And what we’re doing here
is, this is an isometric contraction for the rotator cuff. So, yes, there’s movement,
of course, but it’s such a slow amount of movement,
that the rotator cuff is working in isometric
contraction, which is the way that the rotator cuff is designed to work. So this is a real killer
to progress from your external and internal rotation
and your lateral raises. Next one we’re gonna do
is the same exercise but with a band like this, it makes
it a hell of a lot harder. So, from here I’m just gonna
set up in the same way, but now my hands are pulling
against the band to pull it out and just creating that same
movement, and that is hard. You can really feel that if
you’re doing it properly, if you’re pulling your hands
out and keeping the elbows in, and keeping that posterior
pelvic tilt, that is brutal. So, both of those versions
you wanna do between six to eight reps, three sets. Next one’s called a wall
slide, and what we’re gonna do here is I’m just gonna
slide my hands up as high as I can get them, and
then slide them down, but the whole time what
I’m trying to do is keep my lower back firmly
against the wall, my head against the wall, my forearms
and wrists against the wall. It’s very important, you’ll
get to a point where you can’t go any lower unless
your hands come off the wall. You don’t go beyond that point, okay? So you’re trying to get
down as low as you can, but whilst keeping your wrists
and forearms and lower back on the wall at all times. If you can’t do that, if you
can’t get your lower back, wrists and forearms against
the wall, then you’re gonna turn your hand this way, and
all you’re focusing on now is your lower back and your
thumbs being on the wall. It’s the same thing. So that one again, six to
eight reps for three sets. Next one we’re gonna
do is with a dowel rod for the rotator cuff. So from here you’re gonna
hold in a supinated grip and we’re gonna get that
posterior pelvic tilt going, get the head up and we’re
gonna lift those arms up as high as you can get them. Hold it for a second, and then back down. So I’m trying to keep my
posterior pelvic tilt, keeping my head up,
lifting my shoulders up as high as I can get
them and then back down. Now, the closer your hands are
together, the harder this is. So for people that aren’t that flexible, you’re gonna have your
hands out here, and anybody that’s really flexible you
can get your hands right in. So it’s to do with
flexibility and strength. That one again you wanna
do eight to ten reps with that one for three sets. You also wanna progressively
overload with weight on this stick, so you can start
with just one or two kilos. You put a little weight
plate on there and then you can progress up to
four, five, six kilos. So the last thing that we’re
gonna do is some trigger point release with these little physioballs. This is a big thing that
we talk about in the Flexibility Blueprint, so
again, if you haven’t got that, download your free copy. Basically the rotator cuff,
if you do all this work, and if you’re doing
calisthenics and overhead work, it gets really overworked. And what we need to do is
to try to release a lot of those metabolic byproducts
back into the system through the lymphatic
system, and a really good way to do that is with trigger
point release like this. So we’re gonna do anterior
and posterior, to start with we’re gonna focus
mostly on the pec minor. I know that’s not part of
the rotator cuff of course, but what it does is, it
pulls the scapula forward like this which creates
impingement on the rotator cuff so it is a part of what
we’re gonna do here. Then we’re gonna move
into the deltoids, working at the front of the deltoid
here, and then you can come onto the medial deltoid
and then we’re gonna come around the back to the posterior
and you’re gonna be working on where the rotator cuff
comes from the humerus and comes back down
into the scapula there, working on the different
lines for the different parts of the rotator cuff
and also down onto the lat as well, we wanna do the
insertion of the lat. There’s not really much
point in me demonstrating this because all it is is a
matter of lying down on it. You wanna do your homework
on these muscles so if you google rotator cuff and have
a look at what they look like, and also the pec minor and the
deltoid, just so you can get a visualization of the
way you roll the ball. And all you do is just
lay down and put your body weight on the muscle. So for my pec minor, I’m
gonna get it down on that third, fourth, and fifth rib, get over to the side like this, put
as much weight on it as I can and then just roll up and down. Because I know what the
pec minor looks like I can visualize myself putting
weight on that pec minor. Okay, and then the same with
the back, if I’m doing the lats I’m just gonna lean on it like this. This one is pretty full
on, and what I’m doing is just coming to the back
of the lat there, okay, and then just sort of releasing
around here a little bit. And then for the rotator cuff
I’m just coming on the back here like this, starting out
near the humerus and then rolling in toward the scapula like that, then going back out, putting
pressure on the ball, and then rolling in towards the scapula. And it’s gonna feel, if it
feels tender, if it feels tough, you need more of it, not less. So the two biggest mistakes
that people make when training their rotator cuff
is number one, that they use foam rollers instead of
physioballs or RumbleRollers for trigger point release. The foam roller has too
large a surface area and it’s not targeting the
small tendon, the insertions and the origins of the rotator cuff. It’s very very important
that you use a physioball that’s small enough to
get into those tendons. And the second big mistake
that people make with rotator cuff training is
that they focus only on internal and external rotation
and shoulder abduction, which are the really common
ways to train the four muscles of the rotator
cuff, and they’re really really good for initial rehabilitation. But you eventually get to
a point where you need to progress past that and move
to something more challenging, and that’s what these
exercises are designed to do. So if you’ve been working
on those e.r. and i.r. and abduction exercises for a while, it’s time to progress it and level up your training. I hope you enjoyed that
video, and if you did, you might want to consider
subscribing to our channel so you get notified about
all of our awesome content. We release content every
week on Sunday and Monday, and click the notification bell so you get notified about it. And until next time,
guys, enjoy your training and I’ll see you next time. Hi, in case we haven’t met,
my name’s Rad Burmeister co-founder of …people
make is that they … I forgot what I was going to say. – I’m pulling, I thought
that’s a good analogy to drive home progression,
this is what all …

6 thoughts on “5 Best Rotator Cuff Exercises (2019 Essentials)

  1. I Follow Thenx, Austin Dunham, Calisthenics movement & Fitness FAQS and none of them have actually made me care for my Shoulder Mobility & Strengthening exercises.
    Thank you so much for all these informative videos on the Health of the Shoulders & Rotator cuffs.

    Im actually working on my Korean Dips & Hefesto so thank fuk i found your guys youtube channel!
    Thanks heaps guys!!

  2. love your information videos!!!!!!!!!!!! wish I was a member of your gym…. your gym set up in the background is great

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