I’ve already written a pretty extensive article on the rotator cuff (which can be found on my website, http://www.etfwellness.com/ ). However, I think the rotator cuff is one of those “rubber ducky” topics – you try to push it down, but it keeps bobbing back up to the surface. I like talking about the rotator cuff because I find it terribly funny that I inadvertantly move my arms into funky internally and externally rotated flexed positions every single time in order to illustrate what the muscles do (which is hold your arm in the socket, primarily). You would think I’d come up with a more imaginative (or less awkward) explanation.
An excellent picture that clearly illustrates the individual muscles of the rotator cuff and their attachment points can be found here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/19622.htm
Briefly, the rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles (Supraspinatous, Infraspinatous, Subscapularis, and Teres Minor) that hold the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the glenoid fossa of the scapula – in other words, the rotator cuff quite literally holds your shoulder together. The implications are simple: we must protect and fortify the rotator cuff at all costs if our upper body work is to proceed optimally.
The rotator cuff is largely considered an “accessory” muscle group, but should really be considered a “foundation” muscle group – after all, it forms the “base” from which your shoulder girdle transmits force from the powerful torso muscles through the arms – and should be worked as such.
Go on. You know you want to read more: “The Rotator Cuff and how to strengthen it”