- Written by Sam Aly, Occupational Athletic Trainer Sam Aly, Occupational Athletic Trainer
- Published: 19 October 2016 19 October 2016
When working overhead or anywhere outside of your safety zone, it’s important to remember shoulder safety and the relationship between your elbow and shoulder. When lifting the arm to the side to the point of having your elbow above your shoulder (known as shoulder abduction) the rotator cuff tendon begins to rub between several structures known as the acromion process and the humerus. Working in this position, especially for extended periods of time can cause impingement of the rotator cuff and weakness in the shoulder. Muscle imbalances such as over strengthening the medial deltoid and weakness in the supraspinatus can cause impingement and lead to rotator cuff tears as well. To avoid this, it’s always important to remember to keep your arms and elbows in front of you especially when reaching overhead. Try your best to work within your power zone and keep your arms within 45 degrees in front of you.