A common occurrence especially in contact sports is shoulder pain as a resultant of rotator cuff pathology. People move differently in pain. Pain causes alterations in muscle activity and reduces loads within the affected region to protect from further discomfort and injury. The handgrip, shoulder flexion and bicep brachii activity can potentially change 'internal loading' of the shoulder muscles as there is a co-activation of the proximal and distal arm muscles during gripping. How you grip an object and the effort you apply results in a redistribution of force in the rotator cuff muscles, positively or negatively since shoulder stabilizer activity increases during handgrip actions.
Knowing this about hand movement and the rotator cuff helps us not only in rehabilitation of an injury, but also in strength training. Having a program with many gripping movements with your shoulder in flexion strengthens much more then your hands. A variety of grip strengthening exercises as an emphasized regular part of your athletic program may in fact be one of the best methods of working the musculature to stabilize the rotator cuff.
Train your hands and protect your shoulder - Get the Grip Strong.
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