Q: I like to play baseball in the summer and want to protect my shoulders by performing some rotator cuff exercises. Should I use high or low reps and fast or slow tempo on those exercises?
A: Structure dictates function, and the rotator cuff muscles are about 60 percent fast-twitch muscle fibers. The external rotators are power decelerators that need to produce high forces in minimal time. Because those muscles are usually undertrained, I recommend higher reps and slower velocity during the initial stages of training, gradually moving toward lower reps and higher training velocity.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.net. IM