Why Strengthening Your Shoulders Matters (And How to Do it)

{By Taylor Cartee}

The four muscles of the rotator cuff are arguably the most important muscles in your shoulder, yet they’re frequently overlooked in strength training programs.
exercises to strengthen your shoulder
The rotator cuff is comprised of the “SITS” muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, and teres minor run along the posterior scapula (back of the shoulder blade) while subscapularis runs along the anterior (front) side. These four relatively small muscles all attach to the ball-like head of your humerus bone and allow it to move smoothly in your shoulder socket. Unlike your hips or knees, the shoulder has no ligaments (strong bands of connective tissue) to provide extra stability.

A strong rotator cuff makes your shoulder less susceptible to injury.

In the following high-quality video (just kidding! I made it by myself with my iPhone), I demonstrate a suggested “rotator cuff protocol,” a series of exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles as well as the muscles that support your shoulder blades. I recommend that you perform 1-2 sets of 15 reps for each of these exercises 3-5 times a week.

In the video, I’m using Theratubing, a professional-grade resistance tubing, but any sort of resistance band or tube will work. I used three different strengths of resistance, which could be described as light medium (green), heavier medium (blue), and heavy (black). Below you’ll find a list of the exercises, along with which band I used for each exercise.
– Internal rotation (blue)
– External rotation (blue)
– Rows (black)
– Straight Arm Rows (black)
– Single Arm Straight Rows (black)
– Supermans (“V” and “T”) (green)
– Touchdowns (green)
– Punches (alternate arms) (black)
– Serratus Punches (black)
– D1/D2 Flexion (green)
What do you think? Have you had problems with your shoulders? Comment below, we love hearing from you!