Shoulder Rotator Exercise – External Rotation with a Theraband

Help protect your shoulders from potential injury and surgery with this easy exercise you can do anywhere!
Rotator cuff injuries are extremely common. Ask your friends and parents and you will undoubtedly find more than one who has suffered from a rotator cuff injury, and probably more than one who has had to have surgery or dealt with frozen shoulders after. When we do exercise our arms and shoulders, most exercises focus on the big muscles. We don’t often do exercises meant to strengthen the smaller muscles, like your rotator cuffs. However, our rotator cuffs, while small, are hugely important for stabilizing our shoulder and are, therefore, prone to injury when not kept strong, especially as we age.
 This exercise is extremely easy (as long as you are patient) and can be done anywhere with a theraband (or any light weight exercise band) or light weights.
A few key things to remember are:

  • Keep your money! Glue your elbows to your side (see video for tips if your body shape doesn’t allow this) like you are holding a $100 bill and don’t lose it!
  • Visualize or imagine that the ball at the top of your arm bone is rotating in the shoulder socket. If you think about moving your hands, your arm muscles will do the work, but if you just think about moving from your shoulder rotating, you will start accessing the rotator cuffs in your shoulder.
  • It doesn’t matter how far your hands go. Your hands may not move much at all and that is ok. If you move your hands too far, your arm muscles will take over and you won’t be working your rotator cuffs anymore.
  • Be sure your feel it in your shoulder, not in your arm.
  • Less is more! Whether using weights or a theraband, the principal is the same, lighter weights and more reps! It is like training for a marathon instead of a sprint.


Looking for more shoulder-saving exercises? Schedule your free 90 minute consultation.
Addie Kelzer is a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She believes that by making fitness and good food practical, her clients will hold the power to positively change their health and the health of those closest to them.