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February 2018

Many of the students at POW! Gym Chicago learn to hold mitts and pads. I think that most people would agree that holding mitts and pads is harder work than striking. It is challenging, but a rewarding skill to learn.  Striking  the mitts and pads is an important part of learning how to strike.  It is common that new-comers to boxing, kickboxing, muay thai and krav maga experience pain due to weak rotator cuffs.  If mitt and pad holding is part of your training program, you must incorporate exercises to strengthen your rotator cuff.

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Here is a little education on the rotator cuff so you can better understand the importance of strengthening it and incorporating shoulder stability exercises into your workouts before or after taking boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, krav maga or MMA classes.

What does the rotator cuff do?

1. It attaches the top of the arm bone (humerus) with your shoulder blade (scapula).

2. It holds the arm bone in the shoulder socket.

3. It offers supportive strength and stability to the shoulder joint as a whole.

It is the how the rotator cuff accomplishes these three primary duties that gives you fabulous range of motion. Better than any other joint in the body. You can’t reach back with your foot and scratch your back now, can you?
Click here to see a video that is below featuring FitnessBlender.com.

The anatomy of the rotator cuff

It is actually 4 tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint. When you have injured the rotator cuff, it is referring to an injury of the tendons.

Most common locations of pain

1. The top of the shoulder joint or even the arm.

2. Pain starting in the back of the shoulder down towards the elbow.

3. A sharp pain when lifting your arm overhead and turn it – like to brush your hair or scratch your back.

Common types of injuries that occur to rotator cuff.

1. A tear is when one of the tendons is torn from inside the shoulder or where is connects on the shoulder blade.

2. Tendinitis of the RC is when there is chronic irritation and inflammation of the bursa lining the tendons of the RC.

3. Bones spurs may be present in the joint. If this is present while you have inflammation of one of the RC tendons, it frays in an area that has much less space which damages the tendon.

Names of Rotator Cuff

  1. Teres Minor
  2. Infraspinatus
  3. Supraspinatus
  4. Subscapularis