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Exercise with pull

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    Move the forearm outward to the fullest range of motion, above.

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    Place upper arm close to the body, as shown above, elbow bent to 90 degrees.

DAYTON, Ohio >>

External rotation is an exercise that helps to strengthen the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles and their tendons. It is one of several effective movements for this area that, over time, can increase overall stability of the shoulder joint, improve range of motion and help prevent injury.

The muscles of the rotator cuff include the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and teres minor, which control the arm in different directions.

Try this technique: Using a secured resistance band or cable machine with light weight, bring the upper arm to the side of the body, elbow bent to 90 degrees. The forearm may be positioned across the body, as shown in Photo 1, or directly in front of the body if flexibility is an issue.

Keeping the upper arm in place, slowly begin moving the forearm outward, which is called abduction, as shown in Photo 2.

Because the degree of abduction can vary from person to person, a good rule of thumb is to pause at the point where you have reached your fullest range of motion rather than try to force the forearm beyond its capability.

Here are a few tips:

While it is normal to experience muscle fatigue, pain while performing any exercise is a red flag. If you have existing shoulder or rotator cuff problems, check with your doctor before attempting this exercise.

>> In the beginning, start with one to two sets of 10 repetitions per arm daily or every other day to familiarize yourself with proper form. Add sets and/or repetitions gradually as you become stronger.

>> Rotator cuff exercises should be performed with light resistance, and the movement should be slow and controlled.

>> External rotation can be performed seated rather than standing, or while lying on your side on a bench or floor, and using a dumbbell for resistance.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:

While it is normal to experience muscle fatigue, pain while performing any exercise is a red flag. If you have existing shoulder or rotator cuff problems, check with your doctor before attempting this exercise.

>> In the beginning, start with one to two sets of 10 repetitions per arm daily or every other day to familiarize yourself with proper form. Add sets and/or repetitions gradually as you be- come stronger.

>> Rotator cuff exercises should be performed with light resistance, and the movement should be slow and controlled.

>> External rotation can be performed seated rather than standing, or while lying on your side on a bench or floor, and using a dumbbell for resistance.

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Marjie Gilliam is a personal trainer and fitness consultant. Email marjie@ohtrainer.com.

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  • Resistance bands do come with different ratings and enable good workouts. The shoulder is a complex point with major muscle groups actually overlaying each other.

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