I still see it at commercial gyms where people are doing shoulder external rotations at neutral (elbow tucked in at waist) in standing!!
The rotator cuff muscles, collectively abduct, externally and internally rotate the humerus. Now if you have a force that is directly trying to depress the humeral head and has the biceps work overtime to keep the elbow bent, it's not going to be doing much at the level of the rotator cuff muscle. More of isometric bicep hammer curl going through the transverse plane.
I am not saying your shoulder complex is not having to stabilise and zero contraction is happening but you need to know what you are trying to achieve!
Take gravity into consideration!
Perform the exercise in a side-lying position or use a cable/pulley machine to change the primary muscles involved with the movement.
Progress to shoulder abduction at 90deg and externally rotate the shoulder from there (progress from stable to least stability).
If you want to learn more about exercise, strengthening and knowing exactly what muscle groups you need to be working on, book yourself in at the Injury Rehab Centre at www.injuryrehab.com.au for your full body assessment looking at flexibility and strength deficits but also video analysis of your movement and main lifts to get you feeling better, moving better and performing better.
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