continues his Functionally Fit shoulder miniseries with prone horizontal
abduction raises. The purpose of this exercise is mainly to strengthen the
rotator cuff and works great in a rehab program.
Resources' below for past Functionally Fits (including the shoulder series) and
other exercises and training tips.
Initially begin in kneeling position (for
added stability and safety) with the stability ball beneath the chest and arms
resting on the ball.
Position the hands so that the thumbs point
up toward the ceiling, and slowly raise both of the arms up simultaneously; pinch
the shoulder blades together at the top. Pause, then slowly return to a point
just before the weights touch the floor.
The desired cadence would be 1/1/2. Perform
two to three sets of 15-20 reps with a very light set of weights (I typically
recommend no more than four percent body weight).
exercise is designed to strengthen the posterior rotator cuff and scapular
stabilizers (namely, the middle trapezius and rhomboids). Rotating the thumbs
up externally rotates the humerus and increases rotator cuff activation.
This exercise is an integral part of any
rotator cuff rehab/prehab exercise program. The key is not using momentum to
raise the weight and performing lower loads and higher repetitions. To increase
difficulty, you may lengthen the pause time at the top and position or consider
alternate arm sequences immediately following the traditional reps.
Do not attempt
to force through any shoulder pain. You can modify the exercise by reducing
range of motion and lightening the load. It is also acceptable to perform the
exercise in a palm-down fashion, if that is more comfortable for the client.
To increase core stability, have the client
place their feet shoulder width apart while keeping the knees straight and the
lower legs completely off the floor.
Once they master this, you may advance to
Just keep in mind the goal is sound execution
of the motion. If they struggle on the ball, consider using a flat bench.
Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS (www.brianschiff.com) is
a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. He
became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in 1998. In
2000, he opened his own personal training and sport-specific conditioning
facility, Fitness Edge, in Dublin, Ohio. Brian has presented at several
professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention and sport-specific