The Joint Ventures' Blog

Rotator Cuff

Monday, June 06, 2016

The weather is finally getting warm and tennis season is picking up.  Before you head out to the court, take some time to prevent shoulder injury.  Overhead activities, such as tennis, put great demands on the shoulder joint.  Shoulder injuries are common in tennis players because strokes such as the serve, overhead smash, high forehand, and backhand volley place repetitive forces about the unstable shoulder joint.

Shoulder strength and conditioning is important for tennis players to enhance performance, avoid fatigue from eccentric overload, and avoid any overuse injuries.  Injuries to the shoulder tendons are almost always caused by eccentric overload.  An eccentric contraction of a muscle is a high intensity decelerative muscle contraction of the rotator cuff, and occurs during the follow through phase of the serve, leading to inflammation of the tendons. The shoulder is dependent on the rotator cuff muscles for dynamic stability.  Any fatigue or improper sequencing of the muscle contractions will lead to instability of the glenohumeral joint.  Improper biomechanics of the glenohumeral joint may progress to a secondary impingement, which may cause a rotator cuff tear if allowed to continue over time.  

What can you do?

1. Stay Strong!  Strengthen the rotator cuff and muscles surrounding your shoulder blade.

2. Stay Flexible!  Warm up properly before and stretch after your game.

3. Take Recovery Time! Allow time for rest and muscle recovery to avoid overuse.

Below are a few stretches and strengthening exercises which may be appropriate for you.  This is not an all inclusive program  Exercises may vary depending on your current level of fitness. These exercises should not be painful.  If you are experiencing pain or have any questions, please consult with your physical therapist or request a free injury screen here at Joint Ventures.  

  1. Posterior capsule stretch/Horizontal Adduction
      Perform 3 repetitions, hold 30sec

     2.  Internal Rotation Stretch

3 repetitions, 30 sec hold


    3. Rows
      3 sets of 10 repetitions


     4. Scapular Retraction “Y”
      3 sets of 10 repetitions

     5. External Rotation at 90/90
      3 sets of 10 repetitions

If you have any questions about rotator cuff injuries or the exercises listed, please stop by our Prudential Center office or contact me at 

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