The rotator cuff is made up of many small muscles across the back of the shoulder
Pain around this area occurs in people who repeatedly use an overhead movement, such as painters, tennis players and swimmers. It can be felt as a dull, deep ache in the shoulder and can feel worse to lay on the affected shoulder in bed.
The standard treatment protocol for this type of pain is to try to strengthen the perceived weakness in the back of the shoulder using exercises like these:
But the trouble is, the rotator cuff muscles aren’t actually weak, they’re being pulled into a lengthened state by a joint position change caused by muscle tightness in the areas across the chest, into the armpit and underneath the biceps.
The tightness here causes the upper arm (the humerus), the rotate inwards, towards the chest and it’s THIS persistent tension, that causes the rotator cuff muscles to be placed under undue strain. Add to this the repetition of overhead type movements and the result is impingement, tendon inflammation, bursitis and other types of rotator cuff injuries.
Strengthening against this rotation won’t work because it’s not doing anything to unwind the sustained rotation and it’s asking muscles that are already struggling to function, to work even harder.
In order to remove the rotator cuff pain properly, we need to start by unwinding the tension in the chest, armpit and arm that is causing the rotation in the first place.
This video explains the issue in more detail, demonstrating the technique implications for swimmers and giving you a simple exercise that you can do right now to start dealing with your rotator cuff pain immediately.
To get more simple moves like that will help to reverse your injuries AND prevent new ones, grab my FREE Super 12 Warm-Up Video so you can deal with the tightness in your body from head to toe.