Arm Yourself Against Injury
To maintain the health of your rotator cuff, it's important not only to strengthen the muscles but to work on opening the chest. When the chest drops instead of opening and the fronts of the shoulders roll forward and down, your shoulder blades tip forward, which facilitates pinching between the head of the humerus and the acromion. In this position, the rotator cuff is more likely to be impinged on and strained, eventually becoming inflamed and more vulnerable to tears.
As you can see from the wide range of postures that benefit the rotator cuff, perhaps the best yoga prescription for rotator cuff health is to maintain a well-rounded asana practice. Practiced regularly, a variety of standing poses, chest openers, arm balances, and inversions can help you protect this complex and crucial part of your anatomy.
A licensed physical therapist and certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, Julie Gudmestad runs a private physical therapy practice and yoga studio in Portland, Oregon. She regrets that she cannot respond to correspondence or calls requesting personal health advice.