Simple Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Warmups

Cuban Rotations

This particular exercise works extremely well to fire up the external rotators of our shoulders, which are often weak and prone to injury.

We are only as strong as our weakest link.  So when it comes to supporting a heavy load over the shoulders or above the chest these muscles try to counteract the forces trying to rip our shoulders out of their sockets.

Without these muscles helping assist in keeping our shoulders in a good safe position to lift from we either cannot lift a lot of weight safely or effectively.

Additionally, these also tend to be extremely tight in more advanced lifters so giving them the opportunity to work through a full range of motion or hitting a couple sleeper stretches inbetween sets will help them loosen up and provide better support.

Strengthen these muscles up to build up your stabilizers for those heavier sets of bench and shoulder pressing.

Additionally, try these prior to a heavy workout to get all the muscles fired up and loosened up for an upperbody workout.


Band Pullaparts and Dislocates


These simple band exercises are a quick and easy way to prepare your shoulders for heavy lifting.  They get the posterior deltoids and upper back muscles all fired up and ready to support heavy loads over the head in shoulder pressing or heavy benching.

We tend to do a couple sets of these light exercise prior to doing any sort of pressing work to simply increase the muscular temperature and also get those active stabilizing muscles ready to do there jobs.

There's nothing super special about these exercises, they're just great at what they're designed to do.

Recommend doing about 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions with each pattern for overall effectiveness prior to any heavy upperbody lifting.

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Jess Howland

Jesse "Captain Smash" Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold's Gym. He's a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.