Round, muscular shoulders are desirable on a bodybuilder’s physique, but it takes a lot of effort to achieve them. Being a rotator cuff joint with a wide range of movements, the shoulder is very fragile and prone to injury if a lifting movement is executed improperly, or using too heavy a weight. When a rotator cuff is torn, one of the many muscles that enable the movement of the joint, or one of the tendons, has been torn.
Given enough time and rehabilitation, the joint can fully recover for you to resume your lifting ways. You do need a go-ahead from your primary physician before you can even begin rehabilitation to prevent making a bad situation worse.
The purpose behind this is to restore the strength and the flexibility of the joint. This involves working out the muscles to increase the stability they lend to the shoulder, and stretching them to ensure that they achieve that normal range of motion.
Two of the most important exercises for restoring strength are internal and external rotation movements. The internal rotation movement can be conducted using an elastic stretch band. You basically attach the band to a stable object; assume a standing stance and keeping the elbows at your side bring your arm across your body. For the external rotation movement, the exercise is mostly the same but instead of bringing your arm across your body, you rotate it outwards. The movements can be conducted using a weight machine in the gym.
An easy exercise for improving the flexibility of the shoulder is the sleeper stretch. It’s ideal because it requires no equipment whatsoever. You simply lay on your side on a flat surface with the afflicted joint under you with the arm bent. Using your other arm, you should then push your arm down until you feel a stretch in your affected shoulder. Hold the position for half a minute and relax for the other half.
A lot of information on rotator cuff rehabilitation is available online, if you care to look. Regardless, the best thing to do is to forestall the injury in the first place. It is important that you learn how to execute all shoulder movements correctly. Any movements that recruit any of the shoulder muscles should be performed the right way. While heavy volume training is encouraged for muscular hypertrophy, it should come second to proper form.
Check out these Shoulder Injury guides.
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