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Best Exercises For Rotator Cuffs

Explore a comprehensive guide featuring exercises aimed at rehabilitating and strengthening these crucial muscles, enhancing shoulder stability and reducing the risk of injury.

  • 29 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read

Our rotator cuffs are vital to our body and deserve diligent care and attention. Interestingly, unlike other body parts, relatively few manual exercises explicitly target the rotator cuffs. There are limited exercises for rotator cuffs that would benefit your overall physical ability and also prevent injuries. Injury prevention is rather essential; in the case of rotator cuffs, it is better to not take any chances.


List of best exercises for the rotator cuff muscles

Let’s look at five exercises to stretch and strengthen the rotator cuff:

  • Doorway stretches
  • Lawn mower pulls
  • Side-lying external rotations
  • Reverse flies
  • High-to-low rows


  • Doorway stretches

Doorway stretches are effective rotator cuff strengthening exercises. They give you everything you can’t achieve through ordinary exercises, and ensure you won't get hurt or injured at any movement. Stand between an open doorway and put your hands on either sides of the door frame. Grip the sides, bend forward, and stay in that position for a few seconds. Now, slowly return to the starting position and wait for a while before the next repetition. Make sure to be slow to avoid injuries.


  • Lawn mower pulls

This is a rotator cuff strengthening exercise that does not require any gym equipment; only a band/string and a strong pair of shoes. Also, it would help you to fix your injuries. Put your resistance band or string on the floor and step on it tightly. Now, hold the other end of the band by your injured arm. Place the other hand on your waist and slightly bend down. Now, slowly pull the resistance band with your injured arm. The pulling of your arm should work along with your waist.


  • Side-lying external rotations

Side-lying external rotation is another exercise that would effectively target your injured arm. It would also give rest to your other body parts. That means you can do this without getting tired. Lay down on a mat sidewise. Make sure the injured arm is facing upward. Now, hold a dumbbell in your injured arm. Perform up and down movements using your forearms. Ensure that the dumbbell you choose is lightweight and has a good grip. This would prevent the chances of any further injuries.


  • Reverse flies

Reverse fly is one of the best rotator cuff muscle exercises that strengthen these muscles. Also, this exercise would fix any kind of pain in your forearms. Stand on a mat with your feet and shoulders wide apart. Try to do it by slightly bending forward. Hold lightweight dumbbells in both hands. Now, slowly try to lift those dumbbells and move your arms backwards. Also, bring them forward and try to touch both arms by squeezing your chest. Repeat this exercise at least 10 times and in 3 steps for excellent results.


  • High-to-low rows

In this exercise, you will again need a resistance band and a place to hold it. Try to set one side of the resistance band to a door or a hook that could hold it. Bend your knees and hold the other end of the resistance band with your injured arm. Next, gently attempt to move your hand in a back-and-forth motion while maintaining a firm grip on the resistance band. Try not to make it too hard for yourself.

Also read:


Each exercise in this article reduces rotator cuff pain. Nonetheless, you can also exercise to make your rotators significantly stronger. You’ll require some equipment, such as dumbbells and a resistant band. You can do these activities effectively from the solace of your home. It would be best to do them under expert supervision for the first few sessions to do them correctly and gain confidence.

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