Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Exercises for Rotator Cuff


Exercises for rotator cuff muscles and tendons are the best way to both treat and prevent the majority of rotator cuff injuries.

However rotator cuff exercises must be carried out correctly and in a sensible, controlled way.

This is exactly what I want to cover here.

I want to give you some great hints and tips to ensure you do your rotator cuff exercises safely.

There is no use doing any exercise if it is not going to be beneficial.

Exercises for rotator cuff problems are no different. If you overdo it you can make matters worse not better.

The best defence you have against this is the simple, straightforward, common sense approach detailed below.

Exercises for Rotator CuffSafely do exercises for rotator cuff problems - Before and after

Effectiveness of rotator cuff exercises such as any exercises for rotator cuff tears is improved by what you do before and after.

Don't just pick up a weight and go at it. Good solid preparation is vital to long term improvements.

Pick a time and a place where you can exercise uninterrupted.

In a place that allows you free and easy movement in all directions.

Allows you the time to warm up properly and have to hand all the things you may need.

Some points to consider

  • - Warm up - just five minutes aerobic exercise prepares the body for exercise. If you can't do that take a warm shower or a bath. Warm muscles and tendons improve the range of motion and decrease the risk of injury. Warmth increases the rotator cuff blood flow bringing more oxygen and nutrients.


  • - Ice - Ice is one of nature's best weapons. Use it regularly after exercise to treat any pain or swelling.


  • - Rest - DO NOT overdo it! Every couple of days is enough. Muscles need time to heal. Strengthening exercises cause microscopic tears that are beneficial if allowed to heal. If rested they become stronger. If not given a chance to heal overuse problems and inflammation can develop.


  • - Heat - heat, like warming up exercise, increases rotator cuff blood flow which is known to be poor. This can aid strengthening and speed up recovery. It can also be soothing. Try things such as heat lamps, creams and microwavable grain filled heat pads.

Key points to remember

Exercises for rotator cuff muscles are no different to any other form of exercise.

They have to be done sensibly and safely. Rotator cuff muscles are small so you do not need a lot of weight 4 - 5 lbs maximum. If you are starting out then NO weight at all is the way to go. Build it up slowly.

Follow these straightforward guidelines and you will be pain free, have greater range of motion and stay healthier for longer. This is not a miracle cure. There will be no miraculous overnight recovery. This is a long term investment in you. You are worth it, aren't you?

  • - Avoid Pain - if it hurts too much stop. A little fatigue and discomfort is OK pain is not.


  • - Move slowly - do not jerk. Use the muscles not momentum to complete the exercise. Always be in control of you movements.


  • - Stretch gently - do not bounce. Stretch until you feel a tug but no further. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and relax slowly.


  • - Breathe - breathe normally during exercise

Attention to detail

Read any rotator cuff exercises thoroughly. Run them through in your head to make sure the instructions make sense. If there is a photograph or a video take a good look at it. If it is a Physical Therapist detailing the exercise ask questions until you understand - any good Physical Therapist should do this for you.

I have highlighted a few examples of the sort of things to pay attention to and why. There are too many similar to mention here. Just look out for them when studying any exercise for the first time. These examples apply in most situations however.
  • - Good posture - exercises for rotator cuff muscles need the shoulders to be kept back and down. Anything else reduces the space available to the tendons.


  • - Avoid locking the elbow - if an exercise calls for the arm to be straight then keep your elbow slightly bent. This makes the muscle work just a little harder. This increases the effectiveness of the exercise.



Exercises for rotator cuff treatment or strengthening are many and varied. Whatever level you are at, always work within your limitations but remember to stretch yourself. If it is too easy it is not doing you any good.

Prepare well, set aside the time to do this and decide what you are going to do before you start. Warm up thoroughly. Always remember to exercise the whole rotator cuff.

Use a variety of exercises to mimic the natural range of motion of the shoulder / arm. Do not over do it and have some fun too.

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