How The L-Fly Exercise Protects Your Rotator Cuff

training-white2-150x150The L-Fly is a very boring looking exercise that most people will probably laugh at when they see someone doing it.

Why? Because you won’t ever use more than a few pounds of weight and because it won’t build any visible muscle.

So why even bother with it? Should you? Yes, definitely. Here’s why:

The L-Fly is a support exercise that will strengthen the inner muscles of your shoulders. It works your external rotators and rear deltoid muscles.

Many people injure their shoulders at some point during their training career. But this doesn’t have to happen.

The L-Fly will help a lot to prevent chronic or acute injuries and prevent wear and tear of the shoulder joints. It counters the strength imbalance between your internal and external shoulder rotators. For example, the internal rotator is heavily worked when you do bench presses but the external rotator is almost never worked because the L-Fly is pretty
much the only exercise that works it.


How To Do The L-Fly

Lie down sidewise on a bench. Use one hand to support yourself on the floor. With the upper hand, hold a light dumbbell.

Your forearm and upper arm should be at a 90° angle. Support the upper arm on your torso so that your forearm points away from you.

Now raise your forearm slowly and as much as possible. Your upper arm must stay firmly to your torso, only doing a rotational movement. Then lower the dumbbell slowly and repeat.

See this short video for a demonstration of correct L-Fly technique:

Start very light (5 lbs or less) and build the weight up slowly. 10 or 15 lbs is quite a lot of weight for this one and should be your maximum.

Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps or so, once a week.

Variations of the L-Fly can also be done standing or seated, using cable machines. The movement remains the same.

Remember, this exercise does not build any visible muscles but it will definitely help to strengthen your shoulder joints and keep them strong and healthy. So that you can seriously work the big exercises that do build your shoulders like overhead presses, military presses and upright rows.

Featured Image credit: Flickr / Iwan Gabovitch

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