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Lift Doctor: Rotator Cuff Strength & Protection

Keep your shoulders healthy for optimal lifting performance with these valuable tips.

By Jim Smith, C.S.C.S.

“How do I protect the rotator cuff muscles when lifting. I’m worried about getting a shoulder injury.” – Rob Wehling

You have a right to be concerned because shoulder injuries are very common in the gym. If you have been lifting for a while, you’ve probably had a shoulder injury at some point in time. ‘Tweaking’ your shoulder from getting out of position when benching, or extending your shoulders too far doing pull-ups is pretty common, especially if you try and push the intensity in your workouts.

Sometimes these are acute injuries that just happen because fatigue set in and your technique failed, or you were just trying an exercise or lifting a weight that was beyond your current capabilities. Sometimes, the injuries are the result of something bad you’ve been doing for a long time and your body just couldn’t buffer the problem anymore.

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