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I usually train rear delts with the following exercises:

  • face pulls
  • pec deck (facing in)
  • one arm cable using the pulley

At the end I do some internal and external rotation exercises to prevent injury and to strengthen my rotator cuffs so this includes doing four sets of an external rotation exercise on my side.

So my question is... Is it really necessary for me to do that external rotation exercise at the end if I've already done the three above exercises where the arm externally rotates anyway thus having already targeted that area.

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You’re actually “pre-habing” correctly – by strengthening your scapular retractors. Since you're also hitting both secondary and primary (to a lesser degree) external rotators, isolation strengthening is unnecessary.

Understanding Rotator Cuff Injuries:

Rotator cuff injuries tend to be overuse / impingement injuries. Resulting from repetitive micro traumas to muscle tendons that attach to your arm.

As tendons are made of collagen and have no blood supply, strengthening the supporting muscles (like you’re doing) is the way to go. Most shoulder injuries are treatable and don't require surgery..

From a muscular standpoint; shoulder pain is often due to a lack of stability of the scapula. The control of these muscles provides movement of the scapula and allows for the arm to reach overhead.

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No, I wouldn't bother with it. Keep up the pulling exercises and focus on pulling your shoulderblades down in towards the centre of your back (lower trap activation). Keep the shoulder workouts balanced between pushing and pulling and do some t-spine extension (swan).

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