Exercise of the week: Staggered Stance Shoulder External Rotation

Head to any gym in any city in the world, and 9 times out of 10 you will see at least 1 person warming up for their Bench Press with some form of sloppy shoulder external rotations.

Commonly, this will be with elbows flared out to the side, dumbbells or 2.5lb plates in hand, doing fast, uncontrolled rotations at the shoulder. The problem is, you're not using gravity to your advantage performing them this way, and any exercise done quickly and sloppily will likely not have the effect you intend.

Intended effect: stronger external rotators.

Actual effect when done fast and in the way described above: joint degredation.

The exercise performed above can be done with a band or cable machine (Keiser, traditional cable/pulley machine, etc), and the key coaching points and cues are:

  1. Posture below the shoulder is important. Set your torso up like a cylinder with a neutral pelvis, and stable base. You can have a staggered stance, or not.

  2. As you control the wrist into the upright/perpendicular-to-the-ground position, you're not allowed to let your elbow drift outwards as well

  3. Perform the exercise slowly. As seen in the video above - you should be experience MUSCLE fatigue, not joint pinching (as the typical gym-goer might experience if these are done poorly)

Try them out and let us know what you think!

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