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Lateral External Rotation

Lateral External Rotation
By: Fred Smith, Personal Trainer

Shoulder injuries are common, especially for those of us that don’t properly exercise our shoulders. Just think for a moment how much we use our shoulders – For just about anything and everything – Pushing, pulling, lifting and holding to name a few. Other than some core and lower body movements I can’t really think of many movements that don’t involve using shoulders.

From my experience most people incorporate shoulder exercise into their workouts. Usually these exercises will be f or the larger muscles in the shoulders like the front and rear Deltoids and Trapezius (Traps). For those of you that are in the gym and working these muscles – keep up the great work! 

Now lets talk about the small group of muscles that make up the Rotator Cuff muscle group the Supraspinatus, the Infraspinatus, the Teres Minor, and the Subscapularis. These muscles stabilize the shoulders. If you are wanting to strengthen your shoulders, you can begin by exercising your rotator group. I like to work my rotators as a maintenance exercise for a very small group of muscles that connects to much larger muscles that I rely on daily. If all the links in my chain are strong I will perform at a higher level.

The Lateral External Rotation is great way to work the rotator cuff. Its an easy movement that anyone can do and all you need are some light weights, preferably dumbbells but soup cans will even work! I encourage you to use light weight and perform a moderate amount of sets  (2-4) and reps (12-20). Remember this is a small group of stabilizers, so just focus on keeping them healthy.

Lateral External Rotation

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • While holding onto your weights bend both of your arms 90 degrees and keep your elbows at shoulder level
  • Start the movement by allowing the weights to come forward
  • When the weight reaches shoulder level, reverse the movement to the starting position and then repeat

Technique Tip

  • Elbows should be stationary throughout the entire movement
  • The movement is all in the shoulders

Refer to the feature picture, for a visual representation of later external rotation. Remember that you are encouraged to ask myself, or any other Fitness on 2th Personal Trainer or Fitness Consultant staff for assistance.