Below is my latest article published on WaterPoloPlanet.com.
Enjoy and Be Well,
Michael Reid, B.HE. CSCS, RKC
Most Water Polo players will experience some kind of shoulder injury or dysfunction at some point in their career. In conjunction with that comes some knowledge of the “rotator cuff” (RC) to the point where these two words have become part of the lingo of most if not all Water Polo coaches and athletes. But of all the rotator cuff (RC) exercises out there, which ones are the best suited for Water Polo and which are less then desirable.
With the increased knowledge of the human body comes the realization that what was done in the past wasn't always the best option. You will see in this article some exercises that you are very familiar with that have become part of the trash heap while others are receiving very high approval from researchers and rehab clinicians.
In this article I will discuss the following key points:
- Rotator Cuff Function
- The Best and the Worst
- Thoughts on progressions and other useful exercises
Rotator Cuff Function
There are four muscles that make up the rotator cuff (Subscapularis, Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus & Teres Minor). When you look at these muscles it is quite obvious that they are rather small when compared to some of the bigger prime movers of the shoulder.
The function of them is usually categorized as either Humeral (shoulder) internal or external rotators but probably more important is the function of keeping the head of the Humerus centrally located in the Glenoid Fossa (or cavity).
But it's not that simple ... or is it?
You also need to consider that the body works as a whole not as isolated parts, the RC muscles are no different. Since they all originate on the Scapulae (shoulder blade), the position of the shoulder blade will greatly impact how well the RC muscles are able to perform their job. As seen in my last 2 articles, “Stretching the Shoulders for a BIGGER Shot – Part I & Part II”; the position of the Thoracic Spine will affect the range of motion of the shoulder. It just so happens that the position of the Scapulae also is greatly influenced by the Thoracic Spine. ...READ WHOLE ARTICLE HERE