We get this question a lot-What is the point of walking with the kettle bell upside down? When done properly this can be a very effective arm care exercise.
Over the course of a long baseball season, throwers will gain anterior instability at the glenohumeral joint. When it comes to shoulder health, keeping the ball in the socket is the name of the game. Internal and external rotations will do a good job for strengthening the rotator cuff, but its true function is to stabilize the humeral head on the glenoid, a.k.a. keeping the ball in the socket.
When training for cuff stabilization the idea is to activate the cuff to "grab on" to the ball in the socket and prevent any type of humeral glide. Any time we have to grip something whether it be a barbell, kettle bell or a dumbbell, it is going to activate the rotator cuff.
We love to use kettle bell Bottoms Up variations with our overhead athletes for a few reasons. Holding the KB upside down is an added challenge to the grip which forces the rotator cuff to fire and adds stability to the shoulder joint. This added stability will allow for proper scapular upward rotation when we are holding up the kettle bell.
We'll start out our athletes with a light KB, usually 10-15lbs, and walk 30-40 yards. The two biggest cues we'll use are to squeeze the KB like crazy, and to keep the abs tight to prevent excessive lumbar extension. If you are feeling anything at the top or front of your shoulder you are most likely doing it wrong.
It is also very important to understand that when training the rotator cuff we do not want to train it to fatigue. When the cuff is fatigued it essentially becomes less effective at "grabbing on," and the humeral head will rise superiorly increasing the likelihood of an impingement.