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Rotator cuff exercises

Posted by Katie McLeod  June 4, 2013 01:20 PM

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Ryan Healy.jpgRyan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com. She can be reached at healyr@northshoreymca.org.

The rotator cuff, made up of four small muscles known by the acronym SITS: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis, in my experience are often neglected and frequently injured by many fitness enthusiasts. I’ve had many clients come to me for personal training after they’ve had rotator cuff surgery, and I always wonder if I had trained with them before the surgery, could it have been avoided or delayed? A strong rotator cuff is hugely important because it can help improve posture, shoulder stability, strength in pressing exercises, and injury prevention.

Here are three fantastic exercises to help improve the strength of your SITS muscles. Try 10-12 reps of 2-3 sets. For extra credit, try these exercises to address your thoracic mobility and breathing patterns, which can also improve your rotator cuff function.

1. Side lying External Rotation

2. Supine External Rotation

3. Chin Tuck with Shoulder W

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.

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Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at Boston.com. She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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