The Rotator Cuff

By Quinn A.

What is the rotator cuff? 

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that originate from your shoulder blade and connect to your upper arm bone, or humerus. It is made up of four muscles, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. Each muscle is connected to the humerus by tendons. 

What does the rotator cuff do? 

The rotator cuff has two main purposes: to stabilize the upper arm and to move the upper arm. These four muscles help to pull the upper arm into the socket and help prevent dislocation. The muscles also assist in laterally raising the arm away from you (abduction), rotating the shoulder toward the midline (internal rotation) and rotating the arm away from the midline (external rotation). 


How do I strengthen my rotator cuff? 

Incorporating exercises into your routine that look similar to the ones pictured above is one way to train your rotator cuff. Additional exercises may activate these muscles, but the images listed above directly work the rotator cuff. The muscles that make up the rotator cuff are much smaller than your primary muscles, so it is generally a good idea to start with lighter resistance bands or weights when strengthening this group of muscles.  

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