When prescribing standing or sidelying ER exercises, it is recommended that the individual performing the exercises: i) maintain a straight spine with the scapula in a neutral position avoiding protraction; ii) maintain the towel roll position during the entire course of the strengthening exercise; iii) avoid lifting (abducting) the arm during the movement; iv) maintain the elbow at a right angle (90°) during the course of repetitions to avoid compensatory actions which may compromise form; v) externally rotate the arm to a comfortable position that does not produce pain or discomfort in the anterior (front) of the shoulder; and vi) return to the start position upon completion of each repetition. Depending on the particular objective of the clinician, athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialists or personal trainer, the desired volume and load should be prescribed accordingly.
In cases where standing or sidelying ER strengthening exercises are utilized, a towel roll that abducts the arm to approximately 30° is recommended. Our recommendations are based on anatomical, biomechanical and neurological considerations. While there are no reports to our knowledge to suggest injury when performing these exercises without a towel roll, the literature has offered a compelling argument for the use of this recommended position.□
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