Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Rotator Cuff Muscle Exercises

In this section I want to talk more specifically about how rotator cuff muscle exercises can improve the health of your rotator cuff.

In the earlier sections on rotator cuff anatomy, rotator cuff muscle types and rotator cuff muscle properties I referred to a muscle's ability to change.

It is this area I want to explore a little more now.

This is not a section on rotator cuff muscle exercises, as in the different exercises available.

There are, elsewhere on this site, some hugely comprehensive sections relating to specific rotator cuff exercise routines.

This section will explain exactly how muscle properties and muscle behaviour is affected by the rotator cuff muscle exercises you undertake. This enables you to achieve the rotator cuff strengthening you need to be able to treat your own rotator cuff muscle problems.

rotator cuff muscle exercises

Muscle cross section

To fully understand how this works it is necessary to delve a little further into how a muscle works and what its properties are.

This section should prove to you that it is possible to tackle your rotator cuff problems effectively; without the need for you to spend fortunes on expensive doctor's referrals.

Fibre types

In the previous section on rotator cuff muscle performance I talked about the body's muscle fibres being split into three distinct types.

I think it is important before we move on to recap a little on these different muscle types. The types were defined pretty much by the speed at which they split ATP - Adenosine Triphosphate.

In addition, skeletal muscle fibres vary with respect to the metabolic processes they use to generate ATP. They also differ markedly in terms of the onset of fatigue.

Based on various structural and functional characteristics, skeletal muscle fibres are classified into three different types: Type I fibres, Type II B fibres and type II A fibres.

rotator cuff muscle exercises There are two muscle fibre types in humans. Type I or slow twitch shown in red and Type 11B fast twitch shown in white. We have approximately 50% of each.

Type I fibres are also called slow twitch or slow oxidative fibres. They contain large amounts of myoglobin, many mitochondria and many blood capillaries.

Type I fibres are red, split ATP at a slow rate, have a slow contraction velocity, are very resistant to fatigue and have a high capacity to generate ATP by oxidative metabolic processes.

Such fibres are found, for example, in large numbers in the postural muscles of the neck.

Type II A fibres are also called fast twitch or fast oxidative fibres. They contain very large amounts of myoglobin, very many mitochondria and very many blood capillaries.

Type II A fibres are red, have a very high capacity for generating ATP by oxidative metabolic processes, split ATP at a very rapid rate, have a fast contraction velocity and are resistant to fatigue. Such fibres are infrequently found in humans.

Type II B fibres are also called fast twitch or fast glycolytic fibres. They contain a low content of myoglobin, relatively few mitochondria, relatively few blood capillaries and large amounts glycogen.

Type II B fibres are white, geared to generate ATP by anaerobic metabolic processes, not able to supply skeletal muscle fibres continuously with sufficient ATP, fatigue easily, split ATP at a fast rate and have a fast contraction velocity. Such fibres are found, for example, in large numbers in the muscles of the arms.

Rotator cuff muscle fibre types

Most skeletal muscles of the body are a mixture of skeletal muscle fibres, but their proportion varies depending on the usual action of the muscle. For example, postural muscles of the neck, back, and leg have a higher proportion of type I fibres. This is because they are often active but are not required to be used for high intensity bursts of activity.

Muscles of the shoulders, including the rotator cuff muscle group, and arms are not constantly active but are used intermittently, usually for short periods, to produce large amounts of tension such as in lifting and throwing. These muscles have a higher proportion of type II B fibres.

How does this help us?

How does all this information help in understanding your rotator cuff and how to deal with your rotator cuff muscle pain? Simple rotator cuff muscle exercises can alter your rotator cuff muscle fibre types and this leads to rotator cuff strengthening.

The stronger your rotator cuff muscle the more secure and pain free becomes your rotator cuff. You can then do slightly more rotator cuff strengthening and so starts a positive therapy loop.

In the section headed "physical therapy for rotator cuff" I explain this process in more detail. I hope however that the information here has proved of interest to you.

I know that, for me, learning about these different fibre types was crucial. I finally realised I could finally end my own rotator cuff pain simply by using the correct rotator cuff muscle exercises.

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