Strengthening the Rotator Cuff Muscles
Strengthen the infraspinatus and teres minor with side-lying dumbbell external rotations. Lie on your side at the edge of a bench or table, holding a light dumbbell in your top hand. Position your elbow against your side and bend it to 90 degrees. Internally rotate your shoulder to lower the dumbbell toward the floor and then externally rotate it to lift it up. Complete two sets of 10 reps on each side.
Work the subscapularis with side-lying dumbbell internal rotations. Lie on your side at the end of a bench or table while holding a dumbbell in your bottom hand. Set your elbow against your torso and bend the joint to 90 degrees. Externally rotate your shoulder to lower the dumbbell down and then internally rotate it to lift the weight up. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
Incorporate dumbbell lateral lifts to strengthen your supraspinatus. Kneel on a bench and lean forward, placing one hand on the bench for support. Hold a light dumbbell in your free hand and allow your arm to hang down toward the floor. Lift your straight arm out to the side, rotating your wrists so that you’re in a thumbs-up position. Once your arm is parallel to the floor, lower it back down. Repeat 10 times and do a total of two sets on each side.
Scapular Muscle Strengthening
Perform shoulder-blade squeezes to strengthen the rhomboids and middle trapezius. Stand or sit tall with your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Pinch your shoulder blades together and hold the contraction for five seconds. Do the exercise 10 times.
Strengthen the trapezius and levator scapulae with shoulder-blade shrugs. With your arms down by your sides and your palms open and facing forward, lift up one shoulder toward your ear. Hold the contraction for five seconds and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side. Complete a total of 10 reps on each side.
Incorporate shoulder-blade protractions against a wall to strengthen the serratus anterior. Stand facing a wall and lean forward, placing your hands next to each other on the wall directly in front of your chest. From this position, spread your shoulder blades apart to lengthen your arms and push yourself slightly away from the wall. Hold the contraction for five seconds and repeat the exercise 10 times.
- If you're currently suffering shoulder-joint discomfort, see your doctor prior to starting a workout program to avoid causing further damage.
- For the standing one arm lift, you can perform this exercise with a resistance band or a rubber tubing that is attached to a hook. Set a sturdy wall hook at ground level and loop the middle of the resistance band around the hook. Grab both ends of the band with one hand and perform the exercise.
Things You'll Need