As gyms reopen, we are all very eager to get back into our workout routines, maybe a little too eager. The gym was a go-to place to relieve stress for a lot of people. However, let’s not be too quick to load our bodies with heavy weights and stress out our bodies too quickly. As much as we all want to train again, it is also important not to over-train our body and be out of commission. I can bet that many people can’t wait to bench press, squat and dead-lift again, but how many of us can’t wait to work out our rotator cuffs, glutes and rhomboids? These are some of the muscle groups that are often neglected, but often the culprit for injuries. Here are some exercises that I recommend for everyone to incorporate into their workouts – these can help prevent injuries and also help with your strength gains! Keep checking in with our Trainer Tidbit series for even more healthy information! ~ Melvin Germino – FitRec Personal Trainer
Shoulder External Rotation
Strengthens rotator cuff muscle group. Also stabilizes and improves shoulder/ scapula health. Use a resistance band or cable machine and perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
1. Keep elbow as close to your ribcage as possible, while maintaining a 90-degree bend in the elbow. Letting the forearm rest in front of your abdominal region.
2. Like a windshield wiper, swing your forearm towards the opposite direction while trying to maintain that 90-degree bend. Return to starting position and switch sides.
Side-Lying Hip Abduction
Strengthens the glutes (specifically gluteus medius). Improves hip, knee, and ankle alignment. Improves overall lower extremity stability. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
1. While lying on your side, lift your top leg about 8-10 inches. Focus on the muscles performing the contractions on the outside of your legs as the leg
2. Slowly lower down to the starting position and switch sides.
You can use resistance bands, body weight, or ankle weights to add some intensity to this exercise!
Swiss Ball L-Raise
Strengthens rotator cuff muscle group as well as the middle and lower trapezius. Stabilizes and improves shoulder mobility. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Make sure you have a resistance ball for this exercise.
1. Slowly roll onto the resistance ball (abdominal will be on the ball) while engaging your core to help you stabilize on the Swiss ball.
2. Slightly lift your chest so that it is in line with your back. Begin with your arms straight down, then slowly pull your elbows back with a 90-degree bend (bring back only so that your elbow and back are inline with one another).
3. Slowly externally rotate your shoulders upward towards your ears. Then slowly reverse the process going back to the starting position.
Side to Side Glute Walk
Strengthens the glutes, specifically the gluteus medius. Also helps with the alignment of hip, knee, and ankle. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.
You can add a resistance band above the knees to add some intensity to this exercise.
1.Perform and hold a quarter squat (basically start doing a squat and only go about 1/4 of the way).
2. Walk laterally or side to side (Back and forth). Make sure to track your knees and make sure they do not go past your toes, this helps prevent your knees from caving inwards (drive your knees out).
3. Take a breather when you finished one side than jump into the next!
Click HERE for a printable PDF with these exercise tips and illustrations
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