If you’re having problems with your rotator cuff right now …
Or, if you’ve had a rotator cuff injury in the past …
You’ll want to read … and RE-read! … today’s guest article from Eric Wong, S&C coach to multiple UFC fighters and other professional athletes.
Hope it helps!
The TRUTH About Rotator Cuff Problems – and How to Fix Them!
Guest article by Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS
creator, Shoulder Flexibility Solution
In this article, you’re going to learn the TRUTH about rotator cuff problems… AND how to fix them.
It’s important that you read the whole thing because the common advice to stretch is NOT the answer.
Let’s start with a bit of Kinesiology…
The rotator cuff consists of 4 muscles:
3. Teres minor
While the name of this group of muscles implies that they’re responsible for rotational movements of the shoulder, there are 3 very important functions that often get overlooked:
Little-Known Rotator Cuff Function #1
The rotator cuff is responsible for ensuring the head of your humerus (upper arm bone) stays in the centre of the joint.
If this stability doesn’t happen, the head of your humerus would bump into tendons, nerves and even other bones in the shoulder joint, causing pain and eventually damage.
So the key is to train the rotator cuff to do this, with some of the best exercises involving movements in multiple planes of motion, such as proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) exercises (which aren’t to be confused with contract-relax stretches, which are just one component of the PNF system).
Little-Known Rotator Cuff Function #2
The rotator cuff muscles play a huge role in decelerating the arm in high velocity movements that are common in most sports, such as throwing a ball, swinging a bat or club, or throwing punches.
Without proper eccentric function of the rotator cuff muscles, if you perform high velocity arm movements like throwing punches, muscle strains and joint sprains will be common occurrence, leaving you sitting on the sidelines more than you’d like.
Little-Known Rotator Cuff Function #3
The rotator cuff ensures the scapula rotates in sync with the humerus, which is called the scapulohumeral rhythm.
Much like point #1, if your scapula and humerus don’t move in the proper rhythm, excess stress is placed on certain muscles and other soft tissues, which results in tendonitis, muscle tears, pain and weakness often in one or more of the rotator cuff muscles.
And here’s the thing that most people SCREW UP…
Because of these important functions, if your rotator cuff isn’t working properly, shoulder tightness often occurs to compensate for the wonky cuff.
So after a rotator cuff problem your body wants to stabilize the joint to prevent further injury and does so essentially by “clamping down” the bigger, superficial muscles including the pecs, rhomboids (between the shoulder blades), lats and more (depending on what cuff muscles were damaged).
To fix these issues, MOST people will try and stretch the tight muscles (but not smart people like YOU)…
Unfortunately, simple static stretching goes against your body’s own innate wisdom because it causes INSTABILITY…
Exactly the problem your body is trying to prevent in the first place!
That’s why true, long-term elimination of rotator cuff problems requires much more than static stretching.
I’ve created a routine designed specifically to stabilize and then strengthen your rotator cuff called the Rotator Cuff HARDENING Routine and you get it as a FREE bonus right here with the Shoulder Flexibility Solution.
It’s an 8-week plan of attack including how to alter your regular weight training workouts to ensure speedy healing and rapid gains in rotator cuff stability and strength.
So if you’re dealing with rotator cuff problems now, or you have in the past, take advantage of this special offer right now and get started hardening your rotator cuff so those problems become a distant memory:
– Coach E
Awesome stuff from Eric!
And such a great point about how simply static stretching the tight muscles – what most people do! – is NOT the answer by itself.
Eric has been kind enough to set up a special discount on his Shoulder Flexibility Solution course for FVT newsletter subscribers. You can claim the discount and get the Rotator Cuff Hardening Routine for free at the link below:
– Forest Vance
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
Master of Science, Human Movement