Is Your Shoulder Complete?

Picture this scene: you're in your favorite gym getting ready to work out. Your favorite tunes are playing, you've broken a sweat during your warm-up, and now you start pumping out reps of your first set of military press. Half-way through, you lose some control of the weights, and feel pain in your right shoulder. Making the right decision, you play it safe by not doing any exercises involving your shoulder. Days later, the pain still hasn't subsided. You see your doctor, and he informs you of a partial rotator cuff tear. You're out of commission for at least a few more weeks, if not longer.

Sounds frightening, doesn't it? Rotator cuff problems are some of the most common that affect the shoulder. Unfortunately, many of us often neglect this crucial area and suffer the consequences. Fortunately, a small bit of prevention can go a long way. Actually, even farther, because not only can strengthening the rotator cuff prevent future problems, it can enhance other exercises by making your shoulders more complete joints.

I know what you're thinking, "So what are these four exercises, how often should I do them, and how heavy should I go?" Before we get to the exercises, let's answer the other two questions.

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How often should I do them? While everyone is different, generally you don't need to perform these exercises often. Twice a week prior to shoulder exercises is sufficient. I'd suggest two to three reps at about ten reps each as well.

How heavy should I go? Keep the weights light. Don't attempt to lift heavy for these exercises, as you can do much more harm than good. Ten to twenty pounds is more than enough.

Now that we've got all that taken care of, let's see the three exercises!

Dominic Andriacchi

Dominic Andriacchi is the owner and author of the Athlete Resource Center, a website designed to help athletes of all ages improve their athletic performance, academics, visibility, and to connect with other athletes.

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