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Rotator Cuff Modifications

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  • Rotator Cuff Modifications

    The most important thing to remember when you have a rotator cuff or similar issue is that you need to make sure you avoid irritating the issue further with excess rotation at the joint from twisting motions of the shoulder.

    Here are some tips for each move through the Total Workout.

    Primary Back Stretch:
    You can do Primary Back Stretch, however, you should use a towel form the arm pumps.

    How to do arm pumps with a towel:
    When doing the arm pumps on Primary Back Stretch normally the most important thing is to make sure that your palms are touching all the way and the thumbs are aligned. However, when you have a rotator cuff issue, clasping the hands in the back is too much of a rotation for the shoulder. Do avoid any irritation try getting into the T-Tapp Stance and grasp the towel behind your back with your hands about shoulder distance apart. Your thumbs should be facing in towards each other. Now, you will rotate the thumbs out towards the sidewalls as much as you can. This will make your shoulders rotate back and the elbows in. It might not be comfortable at first, but it is a form of physical therapy and helps to increase flexibility. MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON’T LET THE WRISTS ROLL IN. Keep the wrists straight as you rotate the thumbs so that you maintain linear alignment of the wrist to elbow.

    Also during Primary Back Stretch make sure that when you go into a flat back that you push with the thumb into your back. There are form tips given in more advanced workouts that will want you to push with the heel of the hand. When you have a rotator cuff issue it is more beneficial for you to push the thumb into the back.

    Plies Sequence:
    You will omit the arm motions called “Crossover Head Pulls” If you have the book Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes this exercise is featured on page 106 for a visual. If you do not have a book, it is the movement where your arms extend above your head during a plie, your wrists cross at the top and then you pull your arms into a “W” at each side of your body.

    Instead of crossing over the head during this movement you will do a smooth and steady cross at the chest making sure to maintain lat activation (lift those ribs) and then go into your “W” arm position at each side of your body.

    The second part of Plies Sequence when you do the “Reverse Overhead Cross” featured on page 108 of Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes you will do the same motion, crossing in front of your chest and your arms come down to your side, just like normal. As you are going up Teresa will normally have your hands flip at the top so that the palms face each other. Slight change, instead your palms will never flip and your palms will face away from each other all the way up.

    All together the motion will be:
    A smooth and steady cross at the chest making sure to maintain lat activation (lift those ribs) and then go into your “W” arm position at each side of your body. Reverse the cross at the chest (ribs up never lose the lat activation), bring into “W” arm position at each side of your body. Extend arms straight out with palms facing upwards. Then, reach arms above the head in alignment with shoulders. It is important that you maintain shoulder, elbow and wrist alignment. Bring back down to arms straight out with the palms facing upwards. Then bring down into “W” arm position at each side of your body. Then, repeat!

    You may need to just do this on your own in front of a mirror without the tape, very smooth, very steady, very slow to maintain proper alignment of the shoulder to hip. Remember to maintain lat activation.

    Jumping Jacks:
    You will do a smooth and steady cross at the chest making sure to maintain lat activation (lift those ribs) and then go into your “W” arm position at each side of your body. Lift the arms straight up without twisting your wrist. Your palms will be facing each other. Now you can either go all the way down with your palms facing down.

    In a severe situation with rotator cuff (you will know if you need this tip):
    Hold the squat and instead of going into a “W” with your arms at each side. Instead, extend the arms out with palms facing upwards and bring the arms up in alignment with the shoulders, palms facing towards each other, for 4-8 counts. Then, you would extend your arms straight out with the palms facing out and bring your arms down and then back up in alignment with shoulders, for 4-8 counts.

    If you cannot lift above shoulder height:
    Extend your arms straight out with the palms facing out and bring your arms down and then back up in alignment with shoulders, for 4-8 counts.

    REMEMBER: Lat activation is so important. With any rotator cuff issue your trap and deltoid are going to be more dominant than lat. Maintaining lat activation will balance and protect your rotator cuff.

    You will omit Chest Press and Chest Press Combo.

    Reach Scoop:
    The only modification for Reach Scoops is going to be with the flipping of the palm out. You are going to reach with the palm out towards body arm pull up the whole time.

    It is important to maintain equality on both sides to prevent more of an imbalance of muscle. So if your worst side can only go so far, make sure your opposite side does the same. .

    Jazz Twist:
    No modifications

    The Box:
    No modifications

    Oil Wells:
    Modification depends on what degree of injury there is and how much lat activation is maintained during shoulder roll. Otherwise, do Ladybug technique. If you need this please let me know.

    The arm pump above okay but remember to keep hands close to the head when you do the pump. Teresa pumps way above her head in the Beginner/Rehab Workout and that should be avoided when dealing with a rotator cuff issue.

    T-Tapp Twist:
    No modification should be needed if you maintain shoulder linear alignment of the hips and press hands together to maintain lat activation.

    In a severe situation with rotator cuff (you will know if you need this tip):
    You may wish to omit going down towards the ankle and instead just twist for two and come to the center on the third count. Then you will re-tuck, get back into correct T-Tapp Stance with proper lat activation and twist to the other side, center on the third count. Repeat! See form tip above as well.

    Pull the Weeds:
    Most will have no problem with this movement because the elbow is in front of the shoulder and the wrist and shoulder are in alignment. It should feel good. However, listen to your body. If you are not neuro-kinetically aware enough to maintain the proper alignment then you may wish to omit the Pull the Weeds until you have the awareness to complete this movement in proper form. Don’t worry if you cannot do it right now, you will be able to do it as you get more advanced!

    Hoe Downs:
    No modifications

    Front and Side Lunges:
    No modifications

    Drop Lunges:
    With Drop Lunges you always want to keep the palms out away from your body, which Teresa does do in the book. However, the shoulder roll may only need to be a straight up and down with the shoulders instead of an up and back. Make sure you watch linear alignment of shoulder to elbow to wrist.

    Little Plies will mimic Plies Sequence noted above.

    Balance Sequence:
    Hand placement will either be the heel of the hand reaching in alignment with your shoulder, knuckles pulled back, elbow straight or palm up to best ability. Just remember that however you choose to place your hand (depending on your comfort level) make sure it’s copied on both sides of your body. Meaning, when you do the opposite side you have your opposite arm in the same position.

    Front Lat Presses will depend on the severity of the case. Listen to your body.

    Puppet Pulls:
    Omit this move

    Sometimes referred to as Ankle Palm Pull as well. With a rotator cuff issue you may want to grab ankle or foot so fingertips are placed closer to the little toe to prevent pronation of the shoulder. Listen to your body.

    Thread the Needle:
    Just maintain the lat activation and remember to keep the ribs up when you lift the leg. A lot of shorter torsos and combos tend to lean forward (shoulders in front of hips) when they have to work the stomach. Think of the form in these balance moves and if you can only do 4 repetitions in good form, so be it!

    Runner’s Stretch:
    Some may wish to do Runner’s Stretch with hands on yoga blocks to help the body maintain lat activation. If you do not have the flexibility to maintain lat activation during Runner’s Stretch or you find that your arms are too short to reach the floor and maintain this alignment then yoga blocks are highly recommended.

    Arms Sequence:
    You can do the first part of Biceps Curls.

    Omit Reverse Curls.

    You can do Combo Curl-Ups but make sure that you do not twist the wrist. Some who have a more severe rotator cuff injury and are unable to bring the arms above the head may have to omit the Combo Curl-Ups.

    Omit Reverse Curl Outs.

    Clap-Pull-Clap-Release – listen to your body.

    Omit Hitchhikers.

    Arm Sequence Stretches – listen to your body.

    Butterflies – listen to your body.

    Arm Pumps – use towel.

    Torso Twist:
    This movement is fine to do. Again, just remember to maintain shoulder linear alignment of the hips. Apply the tips given to you above in T-Tapp Twist for pressing hands together to maintain lat activation.

    Step Lift Sequence:
    You should be able to do this movement however you do not want to flip the palm (done in more advanced workouts and Step Away the Inches Walking Workout).

    Lawn Mowers:
    Omit this movement.
    Originally posted by Casey 06/18/2007, 3:26 PM
    Last edited by Forum Angel; 04-04-2016, 12:32 PM.