3 Rotator Cuff Exercises

You've been active your entire life and you've been told that your body is not the same when you reach that magic age of 40 years old. That is non-sense, you can do whatever you like, but you have to account for that in the training room. Since you have done a lot of wear and tear on your body, it does not mean that you have to stop, but you need to train smarter.

More: Why Strength Training Is Good at any Age

You need to take care of your joints. The shoulder region is a place where a lot of individuals start to experience pain, especially with golfing, tennis and weight lifting. This pain is usually the sign of a rotator cuff muscle that has been irritated or has succumbed to a slight tear.

If you strengthen this region, you can avoid surgery and months of physical therapy in the future.

MoreHow to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator Cuff Exercises for Strengthening and Rehabilitation

Here are three different exercises you can do to strengthen the SITS Muscles: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis.

External Rotation Lying On Your Side

  • Lie on your side.
  • Put a rolled towel underneath your armpit.
  • Bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly lift the weight (dumbbell) like you are backhanding a tennis ball.
  • The weight will be facing the ceiling and then bring it back towards the ground.
  • Make sure your elbow is in line with your side of the body and it does not move.
  • Do this for 15 repetitions with a light dumbbell for three sets per side.

More: Shoulder Stabilization Exercises

Standing Internal Rotation with Cable Machine

  • Position the cable machine so you are using the handle the cable line of the pulley is at hip level.
  • Adjust the weight accordingly.
  • Rather than bring the resistance away from the body (external rotation), position the elbow at 90 degrees.
  • Bring the handle towards our body.
  • The movement will look like you are arm wrestling but we are moving it towards our side of our body.
  • Do this for 15 repetitions with a light dumbbell for three sets per side.

More: 3 Exercises to Strengthen the Shoulders

Standing Dumbbell External Rotation

  • Position the elbows like you are going to do a shoulder press with elbows at 90 degrees.
  • Using a light dumbbell, slowly lower the dumbbell until it looks like you are going to do a standing chest press. Then rotate them back up to the 90 degree shoulder press starting point.
  • The entire movement is bringing the weight down to the 180 degree plane and then back up to the 90 degree starting point.
  • Do this for 15 repetitions with a light dumbbell for three sets per side.

More: Neck and Shoulder Positions for Pilates Exercises

A rotator cuff injury can cause individuals to lose sleep because of too much pain. Be proactive to strengthen your rotator cuff. This will help you prevent lack of sleep and time away from your favorite activities. 

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About the Author

Kisar S. Dhillon

Kisar S. Dhillon is a professional fitness trainer living in Portland, Oregon. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, Post Baccalaureate Studies in Exercise Physiology and a Master's in Business Administration. He has more than 17 years experience in the health and fitness industry and is currently the owner of The Art of Personal Training. You can follow him on Google Plus, Twitter and on YouTube.

Kisar S. Dhillon is a professional fitness trainer living in Portland, Oregon. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology, Post Baccalaureate Studies in Exercise Physiology and a Master's in Business Administration. He has more than 17 years experience in the health and fitness industry and is currently the owner of The Art of Personal Training. You can follow him on Google Plus, Twitter and on YouTube.

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