Closed chain exercises can be beneficial for rotator cuff strength and shoulder stability. Closed chain exercises involve having the hands or feet in a fixed position, such as when pushing against the ground or a stable surface. These exercises typically engage multiple muscle groups and promote joint stability.
Closed chain exercises for the rotator cuff often involve weight-bearing through the upper extremities, which can help strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve stability. Examples of closed chain exercises that target the rotator cuff include:
1. Push-up hold: Push-up holds require weight-bearing through the hands and engage the rotator cuff muscles to stabilize the shoulder joints. Just go into a press up position, push as far away from the floor as you can and hold!
2. Plank variations: Plank exercises, such as forearm plank or high plank, engage the core muscles and also require shoulder stability and activation of the rotator cuff.
3. Bear crawls: This exercise involves moving on all fours, supporting your weight through your hands and knees. It engages the rotator cuff muscles and promotes overall shoulder stability.
4. Stability ball exercises: Using a stability ball for exercises like push-ups, pikes, or rollouts can challenge the rotator cuff muscles by requiring additional stabilization.
Closed chain exercises can be effective in improving functional shoulder strength and stability because they mimic real-life movements and often involve multiple muscle groups working together. However, it's important to start with proper form and progress gradually in terms of difficulty and resistance to avoid straining the shoulder.