Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

BONUS:  Resistance TheraBand Use & Care Guide


TheraBand resistance bands are widely used for rehabilitation from muscle and joint injuries and for aerobics and general conditioning.

Progressive resistance using A Resistance Band

Resistance bands come in many different weights and colours. They are also manufactured by many different companies.

I would always recommend Theraband.

Why? Because they are the only resistive exercise bands endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  These wide latex bands come in different, colour-coded resistance levels, distinguished by the thickness of the band: 

Theraband Color

Theraband Thickness

Comparison: pounds of pull needed to stretch a 12" band length to 24"



2.5 lb



4.5 lb



5.0 lb


extra heavy

7.5 lb


special heavy

9.0 lb


super heavy

15.0 lb

The progressive resistance system makes it easy to measure progress in achieving fitness or therapy goals. Here's how it works.  You start with a Theraband of comfortable resistance. I would recommend starting with the very smallest yellow band when beginning a rotator cuff rehab.

As you use the band, your muscle strength and endurance improve.  The exercises become easier and easier to do.  When you are ready for more challenge, simply move to a more resistant band (i.e. shift from yellow to red or green to blue).  This increases the intensity of the exercise.

The progressive resistance system provides at-a-glance feedback on your progress (also positive reinforcement).

TheraBand exercise guidelines

Theraband use can improve the cooperation of muscle groups.  It also works on strength and range of motion. The Theraband's unique properties allow it to be stretched and relaxed in a smooth and consistent manner.  This prevents the bounce at the end of a range of motion exercise that can cause muscle spasms.

When exercising, keep in mind the following:



Warm up the muscle groups before exercising.

Don't use body oil with the theraband.

Maintain good posture.  Keep your wrists straight and in line with your elbows.

Don't bend your wrists.  If you start to lose your posture, stop and reposition yourself.

Breathe normally.  Exhale during the most difficult phase and inhale during the easiest.

Don't hold your breath.

Use controlled movements.

Don't continue exercising if anything hurts while you are training.

Maintain the natural width of the band to keep it from digging into your hands or sliding up your legs.


When you finish your workout, stretch.


Tip: Make a handle by tying a loop in the band or tying two bands together. 

TheraBand use and care

Resistance bands are in wide use throughout the world, and TheraBands in particular are endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  They are versatile, portable and easy-to-use (also inexpensive). 

However, you should consult your doctor or health care provider before beginning a resistance program - or any exercise program.

Then, while using the band, stay attuned to your body.  If any exercise causes you to hurt - stop!  Don't overdo. 

Caring for a TheraBand is simple.  Just store it out of direct sunlight.  Don't use it together with body oil.  And regularly examine it for nicks, tears, or punctures that might cause the band to snap.

How do Therabands work?  What are they good for?

Therabands work on strength, range of motion, and improving the cooperation of muscle groups.  They are nearly ideal fitness gear, being versatile, inexpensive, lightweight and portable.  With Therabands, you can indeed tuck a gym in your pocket!  

Would bands or tubing work better for me?

Generally, whether you get bands or tubing is a matter of personal preference.  Both behave in similar ways and demonstrate similar properties in progressive resistance.  However, bands do allow more surface area to be covered during some resistive exercises.

What are Theraband bands and tubing made of?

Standard Theraband resistive bands and tubing are made of natural rubber latex.  Latex-free Therabands are made of synthetic rubber.

Should I get standard or latex-free Therabands?

Latex-free bands were developed for people with latex sensitivities. There's no special benefit to going with latex-free instead of latex - so long as you are not allergic to latex, of course!

Resistances are roughly comparable either way, though the latex bands are broader and the latex-free somewhat thicker. Care would be the same in either case; longevity too.

What resistance level should I get?

The important thing is to start with a resistance level suitable for your current level of fitness.  If you're not sure, the light and heavy resistance 3-packs offer a choice of resistances so you can experiment to find the best fit.

How do I know when to move up a resistance level?

As you use the band, you will find your muscle strength and endurance improving.  The exercises become easier and easier to do.  The time to move to a more resistant band is when you are ready for more challenge. This increases the intensity of the exercise.

How far can I stretch the bands or tubing?

It's probably best not to stretch beyond 300% (with a 1 foot piece, this would mean 3 feet).  If you stretch more than 500% (for example, stretching a 1 foot piece to 6 feet), the band/tubing is more likely to break.  Resistance also increases sharply after 500%.

How much force is produced when Therabands are stretched?

The force is directly related to amount of stretch.  Each color provides a certain amount of resistance at the same percent elongation.  For example, a 1-foot piece stretched to 2-feet (100% elongation) has the same force as a 2-foot piece of the same color stretched to 4-feet.  

When you increase band resistance level, you increase that set amount of force.  So, when you stretch two bands, one yellow and the other gold, to 100% elongation, the yellow band will produce 3 pounds of force, and the gold, a walloping 21.5 pounds!  Refer to our resistance level chart for detailed information.

How long do Therabands last?

This depends (Don't you love definite answers?). With proper care and use, resistive bands and tubing can last for a very long time.
When kept in a cool, dark environment, the bands and tubing "keep" for years.  Exposure to temperature extremes, chlorine, and sunlight, however, decrease their "shelf-life."

How you use the Therabands also makes a difference.  Although Therabands have been tested at over 10,000 repetitions without any breakage, they are subject to normal wear and tear.  Bands and tubing that are heavily used - for instance, in a physical therapy clinic - might need to be replaced every 1-2 months.

When should I replace my bands or tubing?

Before use, always inspect your Therabands for signs of wear, such as small tears, abrasions or cracks.  These small tears usually occur at the point where the band or tubing connects to an attachment device, so check that carefully. 

If you do find visible signs of wear, replace the bands or tubing.  Otherwise, they should be safe to use.

Is it okay to tie Therabands to a door knob or close them in a door?

We don't recommend doing this.  Tying the exerciser to a door knob or closing them in a door can lead to early breaking. 

To prolong the life of your Therabands, use the proper accessories (Theraband door anchor, exercise handle, and assist device) and avoid poking with jewelry, fingernails, or other sharp objects. 

Need to grasp your bands or tubing?  Use the Theraband exercise handles or assist device.  To connect to the arms or legs, use the Theraband extremity strap.

Can Therabands be used in a swimming pool?

Therabands can be used in a pool, but the chlorine will cause them to deteriorate more quickly.  After each use in the pool, rinse the bands in tap water and hang them up to dry.

Is there a guide that shows how to use Therabands?

Why not go to the experts?  For a general introduction to resistive exercises using Theraband, the company's own Instruction Manual is hard to beat.  It offers 29 pages of exercises

Why should I choose Therabands instead of some other resistance band?

TheraBands are the only resistive exercise bands endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  Their quality and reliability has been well established through years of use in clinics, research labs, and homes.

** Get your TheraBands online here for best price deals **

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