The rotator cuff is a very important structure in the shoulder. It is commonly injured as well. In today’s tip of the day, I want to share with you 3 key exercises for rotator cuff, if you have rotator cuff problems such as tendonitis or impingement syndrome. These exercises work very well and work wonders if you have these conditions.
But I want you to remember though, if you have a rotator cuff tear, do not do these exercise. I don’t want you to do these exercises if you have a torn rotator cuff especially if there’s retraction. With mild tears, sometimes you can do this still, but I don’t want you to make that decision. If you have a rotator cuff tear, make sure you consult an expert like us so we can guide you if this is right for you or not.
I want you to do these exercises and they are going to help you a lot. A lot of our patients call it the rotary cuff, but actually they’re referring to the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tendinitis is one of the most common inflammation in the shoulder. And let me explain to you why. This is because the rotator cuff tendon goes through a narrow space on the tip of the shoulder formed by the acromion process and the head of your humerus.
In between the 2 bones, there’s a small space and the rotator cuff tendon passes through there. Now, once you have some form of let’s say prolonged activities, repeated activities or heavy lifting, it causes some irritation, it causes some inflammation. When that tendon gets inflamed, they get bigger. When you have some swelling there, and then it’s a small space, it will easily rub on those surfaces and it’s going to cause more inflammation with that rubbing. So that’s why it’s very common in the shoulder.
So now how do we address that? Of course, you address the inflammation using modalities, but the most important part will be the exercises. Now what are these three key exercises if you want to strengthen your rotator cuff, or if you want to get rid of that tendinitis?
Let me tell you what these are, because these are exercises that we commonly give to our patients. So if you can do it yourself, and you can get rid of the pain, you don’t really have to see an expert like us. You can just do it on your own. If not or if it doesn’t get better, then that’s a time that you can contact an expert. If you want to reach out to us, you’ll see the number below, or you can contact us through email, or if you’re following us on social media, you can DM us and we’ll be able to help you. So let’s get to those three exercises.
With the first one, I want you to use resistance bands. If you don’t have resistance bands, you can use weights. You just have to modify the positioning. But I like to use resistance bands. They’re so easy to work with. You can even get them from Amazon. For the first direction I want you to use a resistance band and tie it to something at the bottom. You can use the leg of a dresser or something. Or you can actually even just step on it. That will work as well. Just step on one end of that resistance band. And I want you to pull it up, and diagonal.
You’re actually 30 degrees from the side. But if you don’t know what 30 degrees is, go more or less diagonal, you’re not going to be that far off. I want you to lift your hand up. Make sure elbow doesn’t bend, and make sure the resistance is light enough for you to be able to do this. Make sure it’s not causing pain. I want you to do up and down that way. How many times? I want you to repeat it 10 reps at the beginning, or you can progress up to 15 repetitions, can do three sets. Do it once a day. So, that’s a first movement.
The second one is I want you to do, go inwards. Because part of the rotator cuff tendon are muscles that goes internal and external rotation. So, that controls the rotary movement. You can tie it to something to the side. How high? Ideally it’s going to be as high as your elbow, but anything to the side you should be okay.
Now if you don’t have something like this, one thing I do is you make a knot on one end of the resistance band. And then throw it to one side, you close the door and then the knot will actually prevent you from being able to pull the resistance band coming through the door. Or you can put it in the doorknob, make sure the doorknob is strong enough. I like using the loop because that way I know it’s not going to come off, or I’m not going to damage anything. And then you can do these two movements. The next two exercises are both using very similar positioning.
How far should you be away? Don’t stretch it before you do the exercise. I want you to just take up the slack. And then what I want you to do is I want you to go in, keep the elbow in. And then from here, I want you to go in to your tummy and out. If it’s too heavy, then make it lighter.
Some people will tell you to put a towel roll underneath your armpit. You can do that if you’re having a hard time keeping your elbow in place. That works in a lot of cases, but some studies have shown that if you actually put the towel there, you’re actually squeezing it. You’re squeezing it in place, holding in place. You’re using some of the other muscles to hold it in place. So some studies have shown that’s not ideal. I prefer to just have the person control the movement, keep the elbow there.
Now the third exercise that I want you to do for this will be the opposite of that, the external rotation. So how do you do that? Same principle, take up the slack, but now you’re going to actually be pulling the theraband away from your body. You’re starting with your hand in front of your body, and then take up the slack.
And then what I want you to do is from this position, keep your elbow in and then you pull the theraband out. This will be a little bit more difficult than going in, because you’re going to be weaker going this way. As with the previous exercise, you can use the door frame, or the doorknob, and using the resistance band also.
I want you to start those exercises with 10 repetitions. You can move up to 15 reps as you get better, as you get stronger, and do three sets. You can start with two sets then progress to three sets. Do these once a day. That way you can help strengthen and retrain those rotator cuff tendons. That will help you keep that pain down and prevent it from coming back.
I hope this is helpful for you. If you’re some rotator cuff issues, definitely try this. Or if you know anybody else, share this with them, it’s going to be very helpful for them. If not, then yes, definitely consult an expert. So, that way you can be guided properly.
Let me know what your thoughts are. I would love to hear them. Put them in the comments below. Thank you very much for your time in reading this. Remember to this share this so you can help transform other people’s lives.
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