The Cuban Shoulder Crisis

leonardo-da-vinci-anatomy-5441d185ac301You know how when you by a new car, all of a sudden it seems like everyone on the road is driving the same car?

Well this post feels a bit like that.

Since I injured my shoulder, it seems everyone I talk to has a shoulder issue of their own.

So expect a good few posts on the topic of the shoulder, shoulder health, shoulder rehabilitation, shoulder strength, chips of shoulders, cold shoulders, hard shoulder and any other shoulder related pun you can come up with.

I had a comment on a recent post (this one) where I’d mentioned rotator cuff training asking for specifics.

Truth be told, there are about 72 gazzilion rotator cuff drills that you can choose from, some are fairly common to see, others less so. Some work really, really well. Others less so.

This particular one I like.

It’s called a Cuban Rotation.

Here’s shoulder injury sufferer Mel using a very light stick loaded with some light weight (she now uses a barbell with added weight……) in a tall kneeling position:

Here’s a few pointers on getting the most out of the drill:

  • Think 90 degree angles at the elbow and shoulder
  • Start out light
  • No, lighter than that!
  • Inhale as you lift
  • Feel the shoulder blades move as the weight move, don’t focus on the weight.
  • Use less weight
  • Move slow and controlled

You may notice I encourage you to start light with the drill.
This is because going too heavy will make you muscle the lift rather than feel it.
Mel is using about 3kg in the video, that was filmed a few weeks ago and now she’s on 15kg, with room for more.

Why the kneeling position?

Kneeling, tall kneeling and half kneeling are powerful positions to train in.
They very often prevent you from cheating and using body English to muscle through the lift.
Not only that they help train the hip to fully extend, putting some length into the hip flexors while encouraging both the glutes and abs to fire as a team.

And that can’t be a bad thing.

When do you train the rotator cuff?

After your main upper body lifts or as an active rest between lower body lifts.

Now, this isn’t over.
There’ll be more shoulder magic coming at you in upcoming posts, so be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post.

Oh, you get this as a thank you:



Dave Hedges



One thought on “The Cuban Shoulder Crisis

  1. Pingback: Handcuffs and Heavy Breathing | Wild Geese Fitness Training

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