Exercise for Injury Prevention: The Rotator Cuff

Chest Press for Shoulder StabilizationInj Pre Rot Cuff

Injury Prevention via Increased Shoulder Girdle Stability

This variation on the traditional dumbbell chest press is extremely effective for preventing one of the most frequent injuries, seen in both novice and seasoned weight lifters. Commonly referred to as a ‘Rotator Cuff’ injury, this term may be applied to a strain or tear in any one of the group of these four little known, but critically important, muscles within the Shoulder Girdle Complex.

• Choose a dumbbell weight that is approximately ⚠️ 20% LESS ⚠️ than what you are currently using in your traditional dumbbell chest press exercise execution.
• Sit on a physio-ball with your chosen dumbbells at your feet. Reach forward to pick up your dumbbells while bringing them in close to your torso as you return to a seated position on the physio-ball.
• Keeping your dumbbells close to your torso, walk your legs forward as you lean back onto the physio-ball until your scapula (shoulder blades) are centered over the midline of the physio-ball. Allow for the back of your head to be supported by the physio-ball. However, there should be ⚠️ NO PRESSURE ON THE NECK⚠️ .
• Position dumbbells level with your chest and palms in the neutral (facing each other) position.

👍The rotational movements detailed in the execution of this exercise, relative to the body’s position, support the natural bio-mechanical action of the shoulder.
The inclusion of the correct rotational movements are directly proportional to the extent to which this exercise will effectively contribute to increased stability of the shoulder girdle, as well as its usefulness as a program goal of Injury Prevention.
• Begin by extending/pressing both dumbbells straight up over your chest, while rotating your palms to the prone (facing down/away) position.
👍This rotational movement supports the natural bio-mechanical action of the shoulder, relative to the body’s position in the exercise.
• Keep holding the left-handed dumbbell straight up, and lower the right-handed dumbbell in a controlled motion while rotating your right palm back to the neutral position until it touches the outside of your right shoulder. Pause, and return the right-handed dumbbell to the starting position by extending/pressing the dumbbell straight up over your chest and rotating your right palm back to the prone position again.
👍 An example of the practical application of this movement can be seen with the delivery of a basic boxing punch.
• Repeat this execution by keeping the right-handed dumbbell straight up while lowering the left-handed dumbbell.

Effective & Efficient Bonus Move:
With every return extending/pressing of a dumbbell straight up, take this moment to simultaneously create an extra push or squeeze of the chest with both dumbbells at the top of the movement, as if you are trying to touch both dumbbells to the ceiling.

Effective & Efficient Bonus Tip:
Keep your hips lifted by tightening your gluteal & core muscles while visualizing your entire body as if it were positioned on an invisible bench