Shoulders have a lot going for them. Up and down, backward and forward, crisscross, circles, rotation. They are really awesome when we think about it, especially in comparison to the range of motion that other joints are capable of. Since the shoulders are so dynamic, there is a wealth of topics to discuss on shoulder health. The movement we are going to focus on here is true external rotation. We have our cable machine or resistance band and a half roller to be tucked under the arm. The half roller gives us 30 degrees for abduction to set up the best arm position to focus on the movement. Our body stance is nice and tall. We have a packed neck, where the chin is slightly tucked and it is not extending forward or hanging. Our grip starts right around the belly button where we can now externally rotate at the shoulder.
So what is the big hoopla about doing this “external rotation” thing properly? Well, there is a major common mistake that takes away from what the actual purpose of the exercise is for. Oftentimes, people throw a bit of shoulder in here, which is not what we want. Taking the shoulder and cranking it back, where the blade goes out and around, will give us a bunch of movement and get our arm out there. But that is not external rotation, which means we are not getting the action that we want, nor the results. What exactly are we doing then, for a true external rotation? We want to make the humerus bone spin inside of the shoulder. The cuff will be getting a lot of action when we spin and rotate the humerus bone nicely by keeping our form correct throughout the entire exercise. Holding the position of the scapula, by staying tall and not cranking the shoulder, is a quick way to keep yourself accountable while you go into each external rotation. This will allow you to target the rotation and really gain the benefits of this exercise for shoulder health.