How to do Rotator Cuff Exercises

November 12, 2012

How to do Rotator Cuff Exercises

The exercises that I am about to describe have been designed to strengthen the muscles in your shoulders. They are not intended to cause any pain but rather to build muscle and increase strength. If you do experience any pain, stop from doing the exercises and try to continue with a lighter weight. It is always important to warm up before doing any kind of training including rotator cuff exercises. Warm up and stretch your arms and shoulders using pendulum exercises. These require you to bend at the waist and let your arms and shoulders completely relax so that your arms hang down by your sides. Then begin to swing your arms back and fourth in a “pendulum” type motion. Carry out the exercise slowly, counting to 3 as you raise your arms in front of you and to 6 as you lower them back to the original position. It is important to use the correct weight whilst carrying out the following rotator cuff exercises. The weight needs to be heavy enough to make your arm feel tired but it should be light enough to allow you to do twenty to thirty repetitions before feeling too tired. Aim to increase the weight you use each week but only as long as they do not cause you any pain. It is recommended to start with 2 ounces the first week, then increase it to 4 and so on as you feel comfortable to do so. Once you have completed all four of the rotator cuff exercises described below, apply an ice pack to your shoulders for around 20 minutes. Try to do all four of the rotator cuff exercises 3-5 times a week and you will quickly start to notice the results in your shoulders.

The first of the rotator cuff exercises requires you to lie flat on your stomach on a bed or table. Put your right arm straight out so it is at shoulder level and then bend in to 90 degrees from the elbow. Your fist should be facing the floor and gripping the weight. Slowly raise your hand bringing it towards your head and stop when it reaches the same level as the rest of your body. Slowly lower the hand again, repeat 20-30 times and then change arms.

For the second of the rotator cuff exercises you need to be lying on your left side with a rolled up towel under the right armpit. Put your right arm against your side clutching the towel, with your arm bent at 90 degree so that your forearm and hand is against your chest. Raise the forearm until it is level with your shoulder. The motion should feel similar to that of a backward swing whilst playing tennis. Lower the arm slowly, repeat and then change sides.

During the third of the rotator cuff exercises you need to be lying on your right side with your left arm straight and resting on the length of your body. Bend the right elbow 90 degrees keeping your arm rested on the table. Then raise your right forearm up and in bringing it to your chest. This motion should feel similar to a forehand swing in tennis. Slowly lower the forearm back to the table, repeat and then change sides.

The fourth of the rotator cuff exercises requires you standing with your arm down next to the size of your body with the thumb facing down. Raise your right arm out to the side to make roughly a 45-degree angle with your arm and body. The motion is similar to emptying a can. Lower your arm slowly, repeat and then change arms.

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