How To Bulletproof Your Shoulders

Jul 9, 2020 | Written by Mike | 0 comments

How To Bulletproof Your Shoulders

Hi guys

Whether you’re playing backyard tennis or overhead pressing at the gym, you’ve probably experienced some sort of shoulder pain or perhaps you’ve been subject to repetitive dislocations.

If you’re familiar with any of the following then you may be wondering what you can do about it.

Or, if you haven’t experienced any of the above, there are a few things you can do as an insurance policy to decrease your likelihood of injury.

Though this isn’t an extensive list, it should definitely be part of your shoulder workout routine.


Introducing the Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles attached on different surfaces of your shoulder blade (scapula) and head of your upper-arm bone (humerus).

Their main purpose is to keep the head of your upper-arm bone sucked into your shoulder socket. This is crucial for maintaining stability during movement. They also help in raising and rotating your arm.

Considering their crucial role in shoulder stability the rotator cuff MUST be a target in your shoulder routine.

Let’s look at each rotator cuff muscle and how to target them during your workout routine.



The supraspinatus muscle is commonly known for being injured by repetitive lifting or overhead activities due to its orientation.

This tendon tends to catch on a bony prominence on the scapula during the aforementioned movements which may lead to tendon tears. This muscle is responsible for lifting your arm away from your body (shoulder abduction).

The supraspinatus muscle is best activated by working in the scapular plane. This means bringing your arms in about 30 degrees as if you’re creating a wide V shape with your arms.

Watch below how to target this muscle.

Key steps.

  1. Hold your shoulder blades together
  2. Thumbs pointing up
  3. Bring arms 30 degrees towards the mid-line
  4. Keep arms straight as you raise

Alongside your big shoulder muscles (deltoids), the supraspinatus can also be worked with the staple lateral raise exercise with dumbbells.

Key steps.

  1. Hold shoulder blades together
  2. Arms travel straight by your side
  3. Keep arms straight as your raise


The subscapularis muscle is located on the front of the scapula and is therefore responsible for shoulder internal rotation. Being the largest muscle of the rotator cuff, this makes it the strongest, so you may find the below exercises easier than the others.

Below is a great starter for any of your pressing or overhead movement workouts.

Key Steps.

  1. Elbow tucked in at all times
  2. Step out to gain adequate tension from the band
  3. Rotate your arm without the elbow leaving the body

Infraspinatus & Teres Minor

These last two muscles make up the posterior cuff muscles being at the back. They are responsible for shoulder internal rotation and are also crucial in aiding stability of the shoulder.

Key Steps.

  1. Elbow tucked in at all times
  2. Step out to gain adequate tension from the band
  3. Rotate your arm without the elbow leaving the body

Key Steps.

  1. Pinch your shoulder blades together
  2. Slowly externally rotate your arm
  3. Lower slowly
I hope this resource has served you well. Feel free to incorporate this into your routine to reduce your likelihood of injury and bulletproof those shoulders!


– Mike