Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises

Supine

Level 1

- Lie on your back with your shoulder at a 90 degree angle to your body. Elbow also bent to 90 degrees.

- Use a small towel to support the upper arm

- Rotate the hand forwards and backwards, ensuring you are going all the way through the available range

- Keep the movement slow and controlled throughout 

Level 2

- Remove the supportive towel, but keep the arm in the same position

- Ensure you can still achieve the same amount of movement as the supported position

Level 3

- Add a small hand weight

- Ensure you can still achieve the same amount of movement as Level 1 & 2

Prone

Level 1

- Lie on your front with your shoulder at a 90 degree angle to your body. Elbow also bent to 90 degrees.

- Use enough towels to support the upper arm at the same level as your back

- Rotate the hand forwards and backwards, ensuring you are going all the way through the available range

- Keep the movement slow and controlled throughout

Level 2

- Remove the supportive towel, but keep the arm in the same position

- Ensure you can still achieve the same amount of movement as the supported position

Level 3

- Add a small hand weight

- Ensure you can still achieve the same amount of movement as Level 1 & 2

Seated

Level 1

- In sitting, rest your elbow on a stable surface. 

- With the fist squeezed and your elbow bent to 90 degrees, slowly rotate the hand towards the floor and then towards the ceiling. 

- Repeat

Level 2

- As the level 1 exercise becomes easier, consider adding a small weight, up to 1kg, to this movement. 

Supine rotation with band

Level 1

- Lying on your back place a loop of resistance band around your foot, place the foot on the floor with the knee bent. 

- Hold onto the other end of the band with your elbow at shoulder height and bent to 90 degrees. 

- In a slow and controlled manner, rotate the back of the hand towards the floor and return to the starting position

- Repeat