Doing it the first few times didn't bother the rotator cuff, but the once-a-week exercise aggravated the soreness and the pain just progressed slowly.
My shoulders seem to be vulnerable with activities that require the arms positioned overhead moving forward and downwards. The first time this happened was after doing aggressive freestyle stroke in swimming.
That particular episode requied me to undergo physical therapy for my left shoulder. The pullover weight training exercise has a similar motion with the arms, although the arms are bent at the elbows.
Recurring Left Shoulder Pain
When I left the rehab clinic for my left shoulder treatment, my physiotrist and rehab doctor gave an ominous parting message: That at my age, I should be more "careful" as my shoulders can be injured again.
I don't know what exactly she meant my being careful, and I didn't ask. I just assumed she implied avoiding repetitive exercises that irritate the shoulders, or building enough strength in my shoulders so they won't be vulnerable to injuries.
Since I felt very good after the shoulder physical therapy, I suppose I believed in the latter and continued with exercises like the pullovers that impinged the shoulder.
Self Treatment for Rotator Cuff Injury
Fortunately, I was able to document extensively the physical therapy treatment I received from the rehab clinic for my shoulders. This was on two instances.
One was when I had my left shoulder treated and another when I had my right shoulder therapy at the rehab clinic.
The two main rotator cuff exercises are the internal and external shoulder rotation. I described these shoulder strengthening exercises in a previous entry, but here is a clip that shows a bodybuilder demonstrating these shoulder exercises.
As a bodybuilder or a weight trainer, it feels strange to lift ridiculously light weights or resistance. That's exactly how I felt when the physical therapist had me lifting 3 pound dumbbells at the therapy clinic.
Same thing with the resistance bands. Initially, I thought they were a joke. The physical therapist just insisted that I follow his instructions.
There were plenty of repetitions though and I broke into a sweat in a couple of shoulder therapy sessions,
The Proper Way to Perform Rehab Exercises
The bodybuilder in the preceding video admonished against too much resistance in the stretch cord. He also emphasized that there should be NO PAIN and NO DISCOMFORT when performing the exercises.
It is very important to remember that "more (resistance) is NOT better."
Using heavier weights is tempting. Any shoulder injury derails a strength training schedule, often frustrating even the most patient bodybuilders. So resist the temptation!
You're not after the muscle "burn" when doing these exercises. The goal is just to GET TIRED. Although 20 repetitions is usually enough, you can do more but not to get sore, but just to get tired.
Remember to perform light shoulder stretching exercises before the therapy sessions.