Strengthening the Rotator Cuff using Light Dumbbells (Part 1)

Maybe it's the La Nina phenomenon that's why it's so cold nowadays. I feel lazy to swim and so I just walk at the office and continue my shoulder strengthening and stretching at home.

So how's my shoulder routine like now? It's very much simplified, thank you. Well, upon waking up I have breakfast at around 6am.

I also prepare a "hot compress" with my trusty hot water bottle. I put in on my shoulder and move it around on the shoulder area as I have coffee.

All these of course while listening to the radio - The Morning Rush by Chico and Delamar. After the "Top 10" segment at 6:30am, I start my shoulder exercises.

I only have 2 sets of exercises done on alternate days. The first set employs weights.

Now bear in mind that the Rotator Cuff muscles are small and surround the shoulder socket. These muscles are the SITS (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapular).

They may be seen in this entry. Because of the size, you don't need monster weights to strengthen them.

If you do, the bigger muscles (traps, lats, delts) will simply take over. I read somewhere that 5-lb dumbbells are ideal for Rotator Cuff exercises.

Me, I go safer with 2.5 lbs (or 2 x 1.25 lb. plates) per dumbbell. This might increase in the future as the shoulders become stronger.

Although the pics below describe the exercise's movement with one arm, you should use BOTH ARMS in performing the exercises.

Modified Lateral Raise

My Physical Therapist taught me this exercise and is gentle on the shoulders while strengthening them. It's a personal favorite of mine.
  1. The starting position of this exercise is with the dumbbells at your sides.

  2. Slowly raise your arms outwards. Retain the wrist position until you're about to reach shoulder level as shown below.

  3. Slowly turn the wrist so the palm faces forward as shown below.

  4. Continue turning the wrist so the palm slowly faces upwards.

  5. At the end position show below, the palm should now be facing your body. Pause and count 10 seconds before bringing them down slowly.

The second weights exercise is more common since I found it on the net and will be discussed in a next entry.

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