Remaining healthy and avoiding injury is critical in any exercise program. We’re going to add some simple tips and techniques that will help you stay fit and healthy for years to come!
Most people work the main muscles, like Biceps, Triceps, Glutes, and Chest, and leave the often neglected “helper” muscles by the wayside. For example, without getting too technical, your rotator cuff muscles are responsible for maintaining shoulder joint stability. These four little muscles are not worked much when we use machines or many barbell movements. Here’s what happens: Our “major muscles” around the shoulder (deltoids/shoulders, chest, and upper back) get disproportionately stronger than the rotator cuff muscles. Over time this could cause too much strain on the rotator cuff muscles because our main muscles are able to handle heavier loads (because our major muscles have gotten stronger) and our rotator cuff muscles are unable to stabilize the shoulder joint with the heavy load. I’m simplifying this greatly so please forgive the lack of specificity. We’ll get to that at a later time.
The Good News:
The good news is there are MANY ways to keep the rotator cuff muscles healthy and strong. Functional movements, dumbbells, and bands are some of the ways we can achieve this. Here’s an example of my client Mike performing light bench presses with resistance bands to make the bar unstable. In this example my client Mike C. shows how to suspend wight from the end of a barbell with resistance bands for the bench press. The hanging weight can swing and bounce which will bring into play many stabilizing actions. Performing the exercise in this way increases rotator strength and over all stability in the shoulder girdle and core stability.
Let me know what you think of this technique and add any comments or helpful tips that I may have left out.