Shoulder Rotator Exercise – Low to High Internal Shoulder Rotation

A wonderful rehab type of exercise to focus on the rotator muscles within the shoulder joint, this exercise can be done with a theraband or a cable machine with very light weight. For more information on using the cable machine specifically, make sure to watch the video for how to set it up. For a perfect complimentary exercise, check out our video Shoulder Rotator Exercise – Low to High EXTERNAL Shoulder Rotation.
Like the external shoulder rotation, this exercise helps strengthen the muscles that set a solid foundation for a strong shoulder. Your ‘rotators’ are not the shoulder muscles you see from the outside but are located deep within, helping to perform a variety of motions along with the more superficial and often larger shoulder muscles. Almost more importantly, they help to stabilize the head of the humerus inside the joint while still allowing for good mobility. Because they add so much stability, you can see just how important exercises like these are to preventing injury like dislocation of the shoulder.
Here are a few key pointers for this exercise:

  • Your arm will move in a diagonal pattern across and up your body. Begin with a straight arm down and to the same side of your body as the shoulder you’re using. The pulley/theraband will also be position from near the ground on this same side. Move your arm up and across your body in a diagonal to finish with your arm still straight but as high as possible.It will not get much higher than your shoulder height if at all. Resist bending at the elbow in order to create a larger range of motion.
  • Keep the shoulder that is working from coming up toward your ear. Create lots of space down your neck, between your ear and your shoulder.
  • Any contorting of the body or shoulder in order to lift your arm may mean that the weight, although light to start with, may be too high. Give yourself more slack on the band or reduce the weight on the cable. It may also mean that you are going too high with the hand. Only lift the band/cable as high as you can without twisting, raising the shoulder or bending the elbow.
  • This exercise can also be performed with a small dumbbell, start with anything 5# or lighter.

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.