__By Ron Kaspriske
__ When you hear the words rotator cuff, you might think about baseball pitchers sitting on the bench with their throwing shoulders wrapped in big bags of ice. But the four muscles that make up this part of the shoulder play a huge role in the golf swing. Not only do they provide control of the golf club, they also act as the brakes when your swing has to come to a stop. And just like the brakes of your car, they can wear out over time--especially if they aren't primed before the round.
Common injuries are inflammation of the muscles, impingements and tears. You'll know there's a problem by feeling pain or losing range of movement. But two other signs of injury to the rotator cuffs aren't as easily detected. One comes late at night. If you sleep on your side, and find yourself favoring one side because the other is uncomfortable, you could have issues with these muscles. And when you play golf, these two common swing faults might be a sign there's a problem:
You can't maintain the width of your swing you created at address and your arms collapse as you take the club back
Your left elbow bends during the follow-through, your cuffs could be damaged.
To help prevent injuries to your cuffs, PGA Tour fitness consultant Dave Herman (@superflexbands) demonstrates a few ways to warm-up your shoulder capsules. Click on the video below.
Ron Kaspriske is fitness editor for Golf Digest