Training Tip: Ever heard of the “Empy Can” exercise for the shoulder?

January 10, 2013

chiropractor manhattan ks

“Empty Can” exercise

A Blog of Manhattan KS Chiropractor Dr. Richard Foveaux DC, MS, DACBSP, CSCS

Since it was described by the famous orthopedic surgeon Jobe in 1983, it has been a hallmark exercise in athletic training rooms and in physical therapy for shoulder related problems. It involves turning your thumb down toward the floor, and raising your arm up to shoulder height or higher. Many times resistance tubes or weights are used. But is this exercise good for you?

Since Jobe’s paper was published in 1983, dozens of articles and studies have been published that conclude that this exercise can actually CAUSE the symptoms it supposedly helps alleviate. In fact, the same maneuver is used by doctors to determine if a patient has a shoulder condition called impingement syndrome…because the move actually exacerbates the condition! Studies have found many other exercises to use instead of the empty can exercise that yields better muscle activation with far less risk. If you’ve been doing this exercise, STOP! We can help you find much better alternatives!

Need help with training program? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Foveaux at JointFit. He is recognized by the NSCA as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.