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       Fitness Tips For 12/21/2004   

Rotator Cuff Injury Prevention and Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that are crucial for the proper 
functioning of the shoulder joint. Shoulder injuries can be diminished 
by careful warmup, stretching, and strengthening of the shoulder muscles. 
The exercises described are superb for a general conditioning program. 
A program of twenty minutes a day of shoulder stretches and muscle 
strengthening exercises is recommended to increase performance and 
decrease pain and injuries. 

Rotator Cuff Exercises

Dumbbell Seated External Rotation

Begin this exercise by sitting on a bench or the floor. When working 
your right arm, bend your right knee up high enough so that when your 
elbow is placed on your knee your upper arm is parallel to the floor. 
Your upper arm should be parallel to the floor throughout the entire 
exercise. Place your left arm behind your body for support. This will 
turn your torso slightly away from the working arm. Start with the 
elbow of your right arm positioned at a 90-degree angle. This angle 
should be maintained throughout the entire exercise. At the start of 
each repetition, your forearm should be straight up and down or 
perpendicular to the floor. Then, lower the dumbbell to the left by 
slowly rotating your upper arm inward. Then, raise the dumbbell back 
to the starting position by externally rotating your upper arm.  
Repeat for the required number of repetitions on your workout. Donít 
forget to work the other arm. If the workout calls for doing 2 
sets of 10 repetitions this means that each arm must do both sets!

Dumbbell Side-Lying External Rotation

Lying on a bench support your head with one hand and hold a dumbbell 
with the other. With a rolled up towel or foam pad placed between 
your side and your arm just above your elbow. Begin with your forearm 
across your body, while holding a 90 degree bend in your elbow rotate 
your upper arm until your forearm is perpendicular to the floor. 
Lower to the starting position.

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