Most athletes have heard of the ‘rotator-cuff,’ the infamous part of everyones shoulder, most commonly blamed when things go awry.
While the anatomy of the shoulder is quite complex, the rotator cuff is often a good place to start to both prevent injury as well as rehab ongoing shoulder problems.
The Rotator cuff is important for BJJ athletes to understand and know how to strengthen. Although the cuff consists of only 4 small muscles, it provides a lot of stability for the shoulder. This ‘stability’ is crucial as we explore the vast ranges of motion and strength requirements of the shoulder for everyday BJJ training.
When using the shoulder athletically, 4 main rotator cuff muscles are called upon:
Suprispinatus (Abduction – arm lifting up to the side)
Infrapsinatus (External Rotation – Rotating Shoulder Outwards)
Teres Minor (External Rotation)
Subscapularis (Internal Rotation – Rotating Shoulder Inwards)
While each of these muscles primarily contributes to one shoulder movement, they more often work in combination with each other. For example, when you lift your arm overhead, a combination of flexion, abduction, and external rotation occurs, calling upon multiple muscles.
When training the rotator cuff, we can start simple by isolating and training the specific foundational movements of the rotator cuff muscles. Then, progressively advance the to higher level combined movements.
To rehab an injury, starting at the very basics and building up is often a good place to start.
Where as, just training for general strength and injury prevention, training both the basics and more advanced movements is beneficial.
BJJ and Grappling athletes require incredible amounts of rotator cuff strength, control, and stability. This is because the shoulder is often trying to control another person moving unpredictably. Such a task is quite the challenge and can impose a lot of demands on the shoulder.
The best way to train the rotator cuff for grapplers is using specific exercises which will help to mimic the movement demands of the sport. Meanwhile, maintaining a balance of exercises to strengthen all 4 muscles equally.
If you have shoulder problems, or are looking to improve your shoulder strength and BJJ ability, you are in luck.
To help other grapplers gain and/or maintain healthy an robust shoulders, I have created a 10 week Evidence-Based Program Tailored specifically for our sport. The program was designed specifically for grapplers, targeting the rotator cuff muscles to build strength and control in BJJ positions which often leave our shoulder vulnerable and prone to injury.
This Program is the #1 Shoulder Program for BJJ Athletes
10 Week Evidence-Based Program.
Specific Exercises for BJJ and Grapplers.
30 Exercises over 10 Weeks.
Weekly Notes and Clickable Video Links.
Access Anywhere with Mobile Devices.
Video Instructions for Each Exercise.
Struggling With A BJJ INJURY?
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