Rotator cuff is your own daily “ultra marathon runner”, and it keeps on performing for you, year after year!
Any soreness or an injury to an athlete, is a kiss of death. For Olympic weightlifters, soreness in shoulders is a highly likely possibility.
The pain usually comes from a rotator cuff muscle group.
The rotator cuff group is made up of four muscles: the supraspinatus muscle, the infraspinatus muscle, the subscapularis muscle, and the teres minor muscle.
The rotator cuff attaches the scapula, or shoulder blade, to the upper arm bone, or humeral head.
On top of the shoulder joint is a bone called the acromion. In the gap between the shoulder joint and the acromion is a space that some of the rotator cuff tendons run through.
These four muscles create a ‘cuff’ around the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.
Rotator cuff injuries may occur due to one or more of the following:
- Poor posture and rounded shoulders (carrying heavy bags on one shoulder or slouching when sitting)
- Poor movements (e.g. repetitive or overhead activities) or poor posture around the shoulder are usually factors that can cause adverse strains and stresses in the rotator cuff.
- Sleeping in an unusual way; uncomfortable mattress or pillows.
- Lifting or pulling an object that is too heavy for you or lifting it in the wrong way.
- Landing on an outstretched hand to break a fall. Rotator cuff injuries often occur if you dislocate your shoulder.
- Muscle imbalance (When some of the muscles in your rotator cuff are stronger than others).
- Musculoskeletal disease (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
This video below gives you a visual illustration of rotator cuff group.
Any injury is avoidable with intelligent and preventative training. The good news, like any other muscles, this group can and MUST be trained to prevent injuries.
It is, as they say, PREVENTION is better than cure!
Call your rotator cuff “an endurance athlete”, it works for you all year around, day and night.
Training it, is also best done, using light weights and high repetitions, and slowly!
The good news, like any other muscles, this group can and MUST be trained to prevent injuries.
I prepared this Shoulder Injury Prevention file, where you can find exercises that maintain and strengthen your rotators.