External Rotation


External rotation exercises, particularly for shoulders, are highly valuable for improving strength and stability.

Key Points on External Rotation Exercises:

  1. Sal Di Stefano's Experience:

    • Initial Exposure: Sal Di Stefano first encountered an external rotation movement with a device for the rotator cuff, which led to significant bench press improvements. He recommends incorporating external rotation movements into shoulder workouts to enhance strength and stability.
    • Simple Exercise Recommendation: Stand with your arm at your side, elbow bent. Attach a resistance band to a solid object, then rotate your hand outwards and bring it back, keeping your elbow in place. This basic movement targets stabilizer muscles that externally rotate the humerus 1 .
  2. Justin Andrews and Adam Schafer's Insights:

    • Face Pulls: Justin Andrews highlights face pulls with cables as a primer for overhead pressing to prime external rotation.
    • Dynamic Tools: Adam Schafer emphasizes dynamic tools like Indian clubs and Macebells for shoulder rotation exercises, as these tools strengthen the rotator cuff in multiple planes, mimicking real-life movements more effectively. These exercises are beneficial as they often incorporate various planes of motion, which is key for a complex joint like the shoulder 2 .
  3. Stability and Body Awareness:

    • TRX and Suspension Training: Adam Schafer also recommends the I and W exercises using a TRX or suspension trainer. These exercises benefit shoulder stability by training the shoulder in a stabilized body position, beneficial for everyday functional movements. Suspension training enhances body awareness by forcing the entire body to stabilize during shoulder movements 3 .

      Shoulder Workouts

      Sal shares his experience with a device that worked on the rotator cuff and explains how incorporating external rotation in his shoulder workouts helped him increase his bench press. He recommends a targeted movement for part of the stabilizer muscles that externally rotate the humerus, which is easy for most people to do.

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Incorporating these external rotation exercises can significantly contribute to shoulder strength, stability, and overall shoulder health.