STRENGTHENING THE ROTATOR CUFF

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Proper Technique for the PROGRESSIVE SUPINE PRESS Exercise:

          Start by lying on your back, grasping a washcloth or cane with both hands together (see A). Push the cloth or cane straight up toward the ceiling. At the end of each push, lift your entire shoulder off the bed or floor. When you can do this 20 times easily, separate your hands an inch or so when you push the cloth or cane toward the ceiling (see B). This places slightly more of the load on the muscles of your weaker shoulder. As the exercise gets easier, separate your hands more on the washcloth or cane until you can push your hand toward the ceiling without any assistance from the opposite arm. Practice this exercise with nothing in your hand until you are able to repeat it 20 times.

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          Then, take an empty pint container and perform the same movement, pushing it toward the ceiling (see C). Add water to the container gradually to increase the weight of the container. When the container if full of water, the weight is about 1 pound. Make sure that with each "press-up" you end by lifting your shoulder blade off the bed or floor. We call this the "press plus".
          Be sure that you can perform the movement comfortably 20 times at each stage before advancing to the next stage.
          When you can press-up I pound toward the ceiling 20 times, the next step is to perform the exercise with your back propped up slightly on pillows or by using a recliner or lawn chair (see D). When 20 comfortable repetitions can be performed, increase the amount that your back is propped up. At each level, push the shoulder all the way off the surface: the "press plus". Continue this process until you are in a sitting position and can push the 1 pound weight 20 times toward the ceiling.
         Finally do this exercise in a standing position with the 1 pound weight for 20 repetitions (see E). Work for smooth, slow, controlled motions. This program optimizes the mechanics of your shoulder and gives you the best chance of regaining good function.

ADDITIONAL DRILLS

 

 

 

 

 

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