Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Popping and cracking along with pain when you try to exhibit full range of motion are signs that there may be some restriction in the joint.
Typically, the pain is felt down the front of the shoulder and can even travel down towards the bicep.
This can happen because your rotator cuff muscles are loose and weak. More specifically the supraspinatus muscle tendon that travels right through the joint can get “pinched” between the bones of your shoulder. (All as a result of dysfunctional movement patterns).
This is known as shoulder impingement and causes tendonitis or inflammation of the tendon. The way we fix this is to target the rotator cuff muscles as part of our training and bring the shoulder joint back into proper alignment. Shoulder external rotation is our way to do that, and you guessed it, the rotator cuff muscles are responsible for this movement.
There are many ways to train external rotation such as with dumbbells, cables, and bands. Whichever method you choose, make sure to keep your elbow locked in place. As soon as it begins to drift, you’re taking the work away from the rotator cuff.
Do some form of external rotation training at the end of EVERY workout. 3 sets of 12 is a good place to start but you can do more volume as necessary. If you like, you can add it as a superset to any other exercise throughout your workout.
It’s an often forgotten area to train and most people have shoulder issues because of it. External rotation, through the rotator cuff muscles, is our main method of stabilizing our shoulders in any type of movement. Whether it’s a horizontal or vertical press, or rows and pull-ups, external rotation is necessary to put ourselves in a good position.
Not to mention it will get rid of that popping sensation along with helping you improve your posture. A simple set of three after every workout, whether it’s upper or lower body day, will make all the difference.
To your good health,
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