Safe Exercise Programming for the rotator cuff client
While there are a number of exercises that are effective to help RTC, are they really safe?
The following exercises are safe based on research and science where
Upper body exercises that are safe based on biomechanics include:
- Low trap pull downs with cable standing or tubing
- Seated mid row, one arm DB row, seated reverse flyes (posterior deltoid)
- External rotation with cable/tubing, seated reverse fly es, seated dumbbell side raises (once medically cleared and at least 4 months tissue healing)
- Tricep press downs and barbell bicep curls
- Core strengthening exercises that are safe include; standing trunk rotation with cable/tubing, diagonal with cable tandem in place lunge, planks, planks with ball, trunk rotation with forward lunge.
Exercises that are contraindicated include with rationale:
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press (creates excessive load to the medial deltoid).
- Lat pull downs behind the head (at end or range places greatest stress on all glenohumeral ligaments as well as on the labrum).
- Barbell squats (places compressive and loading forces on the surgical graft.
- Upright row (at end of range-shoulder is maximally internally rotated which places
stress on all glenohumeral ligaments, labrum and connective tissue).
- Supine dumbbell pullovers (places greatest stress on the anterior capsule and joint).