Shoulder Stability Exercises for Protection
Building bulging shoulder mass is one thing, but if you don’t also strengthen the surrounding stabilizer muscles, you will be prone to injury. Rotator cuff injuries are common in weight lifters and athletes and the following shoulder exercises are actually used in rotator cuff rehabilitation. It is far better to add shoulder stability exercises to your strength training program than to neglect them and be knocked out of training all together.
Shoulder stabilizer muscles are small and need to be worked out properly. Use light weights and keep your body motionless while lifting the weights using only your arms. Also, if you experience any pain, discontinue immediately.
NOTE: You are working very small muscles which are extremely prone to injury. Begin with very light weight and increase gradually and only after you can control the current weight well.
Perform reverse flyes from a standing position. Bend over until your upper body is at a 90° angle with your legs. It helps to rest your head on a chair. Remember, you should not move any part of your body except your arms and shoulders for these exercises. Also, start with a very light weight and only increase it after you can comfortably lift the starting weight.
Execution: From a bent over position with back straight and with arms hanging down holding dumbbells, contract your abs and slowly lift the weights up and out until your arms are in a flying position and horizontal to the floor. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat.
Inner Shoulder Rotations
It is recommended to perform shoulder rotations while laying on a mat on the floor. Start with a very light weight (2-5 lbs) and only increase it after you can easily maneuver the exercise. Lay on one side and you will be lifting with the arm you’re laying on. The other arm (top) can be held over your head and used to support it.
Execution: The arm you are resting on is bent at the elbow with the forearm out to your side at a 90° angle. Slowly lift the weight up until it is vertical with the floor and then slowly lower it and repeat.
Outer Shoulder Rotations
It is recommended to perform shoulder rotations while laying on a mat on the floor. Start with a very light weight (2-5 lbs) and only increase it after you can easily maneuver the exercise. Lay on one side and use a folded towel to lay on your hip and rest your top arm on. Prop up your head with the other arm to maintain a comfortable position.
Execution: With your top arm resting on your body and your forearm bent at a 90° angle and holding the dumbbell, keep your shoulder held back and slowly raise the dumbbell. Lift the weight until your forearm is just slightly more than a horizontal position. Slowly lower back down and repeat.
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