Understanding Body Part Injury Prevention: The Rotator Cuff DYNAMIC WARM UP FOR OVERHEAD ATHLETES TO REDUCE INJURY Author: Dr. John Rusin INTRODUCTION It’s a new day and age in the world of high-level athletic performance and development. Over the last decade, athletes in nearly every sport have become exponentially bigger, faster, and more explosive. Through early sport specializations, enhanced functional training methodologies and advanced sport specific coaching, the athlete of the 21st century is now more physically impressive than ever before. The strength and conditioning community should be reveling in their abilities as an industry to raise the physical bar of athletes far and wide, but this is far from the case. This insanely high level of current day athletic performance is instead quickly dismissed due to an equally high and increasing rate of widespread injuries. Has the requisite need to stay healthy and functioning during athletic participation been blurred by our society’s unwavering goal of producing the ultimate athletic performance at all costs? THE OVERHEAD ATHLETE EPIDEMIC There may not be a more injury susceptible sporting demographic than overhead athletes. It has been a rising topic of heated debate throughout youth baseball, and is now making it into the likes of women’s volleyball and tennis; how do we keep our youth athletes from being put under the knife before they hit high school?