3 Best Rotator Cuff Exercises for Your Physical Therapy Routine

If you swim, surf, lift weights, play sports, climb rocks, or participate in any physical activity, you can easily suffer a shoulder injury. Shoulder injuries are becoming a serious health concern, with many injured reporting cases of rotator cuff tears. 

Usually, overhead and repetitive motion wears the cuff muscles leading to most injuries. Additionally, traumatic injuries can lead to rotator cuff injury. 

So, how can you avoid rotator cuff injuries? Regular exercises targeting this part of the shoulder are crucial for injury prevention and strength. Here are some of the best rotator cuff exercises you should try today.

3 Best Rotator Cuff Exercises 

Here are some of the best rotator cuff exercises you should incorporate into your everyday routine to strengthen the rotator cuff.

1. Face Pull

Face pull is one of the best rotator cuff exercises you should include in your workout routine. The face pull is a significant resistance exercise for building strong and healthy shoulders, as it targets the rhomboids, trapezius, posterior deltoids, as well as rotator cuff. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • With a cable pulley machine, set the pulley system a short distance above your head
  • Position your palms in such a way that they are facing in, and hold the handles with all your hands
  • Move back until your hands are widely extended before engaging your core
  • While in this position, lean backward to position your body at around a 30-degree angle.

2. Banded IR/ER Isolation

Usually, your rotator cuff moves constantly to rotate the shoulder externally and internally. Thus, it is essential to train the rotator cuff to maintain effective movements. The branded IE/ER is also an effective technique that assesses and trains your cuff muscles in isolation. 

In fact, it is effortless to perform. Here’s how to do it:

  • Secure a band of low to minimum resistance around a strong pillar at elbow height
  • Using your arm, grab one end of the band and adjust yourself to maintain a 90 degrees posture between the elbow and the arm at the side.
  • Move sideways, ensuring that the hand does not drift toward the pillar
  • Keep yourself in this position the entire time, especially if you are a beginner 

3. Upright Rows Exercise 

The upright row is one of the best weight training exercises there is. This compound exercise aims at strengthening your shoulder’s lateral head and the rear delts. The fact that this exercise is simple and designed for bodybuilding makes it one of the best rotator cuff exercises you should include in your workout routine. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Keep a shoulder-width distance between your feet and hold your dumbbells pair with the palms facing in
  • To prepare yourself for the next movement, engage your core while squeezing your glutes
  • In a vertical pull, raise the dumbbells up and outwards
  • When the weights are parallel to your shoulders, pull back while squeezing your shoulders at the same time
  • Repeat this process several times

Additionally, if you want to reap the benefits of this exercise without worrying about any injuries, focus on the specific muscle functions and avoid internal rotation.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining strong and healthy rotator cuff muscles can keep your shoulders healthy and help avoid injuries. It is possible to build injury-resistant, flexible, and strong shoulders, whether you are currently nursing an injury or not. In fact, all you need is guidance on the best rotator cuff exercises for your specific condition.  

Are you experiencing any orthopedic conditions? The team at Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation can help you. We are an outpatient-based private practice physical therapy company treating all orthopedic-related conditions from head to toe.

Get in touch with us today – you can email us at cawleyptfrank@gmail.com or call 570-208-2787. We also offer custom solutions to back pain, bursitis, neck pain, shoulder pain, tendonitis, and many others.