Exercises to Strengthen the Muscles of Your Rotator Cuff

The exercises described will help strengthen the muscles of your shoulder (especially the rotator cuff) and should not cause you pain. If the exercises cause pain or discomfort, use a smaller weight and/or stop exercising.

Look at the pictures with each exercise so you can follow the right position. Warm up your arms before adding weights:Stretch your arms and shoulders and do pendulum exercises (bend from the waist, arms hanging down; keeping arm and shoulder muscles relaxed, move arms slowly back and forth from side to side).

Use a light weight with the goal being 20-30 repetitions per exercise before fatigue occurs. Perform each exercise slowly: lift your arm to a slow count of three and lower you arm to a slow count of six. Increase the weight a little each week (but never so much that the weight causes pain); start with 1-2 pounds the first week, move up to 2-3 pounds the second week, and so on.

If you do all exercises three to five times a week, your rotator cuff muscles will become stronger and you may regain normal strength in your shoulders. Each time you finish doing all the exercises, put an ice pack on your shoulder for 20 minutes. It’s best to use a barrier between the ice and your skin, such as a pillowcase or lightweight towel.

This is a general overview on the topic and may not apply to everyone. To find out if this applies to you and get more information on the subject, talk to your family doctor or rehabilitation specialist at Tri-Rehab, Inc. 

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