Which exercise is good for the rotator cuff

8 effective rotator cuff strengthening exercises

Exercises to Strengthen the Rotator Cuff: Avoid Shoulder Pain! With these exercises and stretching exercises, you can strengthen the rotator cuff, e.g. after an operation, and prevent injury to the shoulder joint. For a strong, stable and healthy shoulder!

Do these exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff

Do 30-40 repetitions per arm with fitness tubes or the Theraband. Increase the resistance as needed. When warming up, however, you should always start with little resistance to force so that the rotator cuff is not stressed too much from the outset.

Remember, especially for the shoulder joint: warm up slowly and gently, with low, gradual loading. Thera bands, resistance bands or resistance bands are available in different strengths. They allow you to have different resistance levels and are therefore the perfect training device for at home, in the office and on the go. Further down in the article you will find the appropriate stretching exercises.

BOOK TIP: Regular mobility exercises in combination with gentle strength building can already be enough to successfully treat shoulder pain. Even after an operation, light movements and a targeted build-up of the shoulder muscles can be decisive for a quick recovery.

Our training world authors, the sports therapist Katharina Brinkmann and the sports editor Nicolai Napolski, not only summarize the most important information about the background and development of the impingement syndrome, but also present effective techniques and exercises with which the complaints can be treated easily and specifically from home to let.

The book on the topic: LEARN MORE NOW


8 effective rotator cuff strengthening exercises

A Theraband is the ideal tool for strengthening the shoulder muscles

Secure the Theraband to a stationary object at the level of the outstretched arm. Tighten the Theraband and do the exercises from physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff as follows:

1. Shoulder exercise: throw acceleration

Fig. 1: Throwing acceleration © trainingsworld

You stand to the side of the attachment point of the tape. Grab it over your head; the thumb points upwards. Pull the arm across the body down to the opposite hip, and then bring it back to the starting position (see Fig. 1)

2nd exercise: shoulder stretching

You stand facing the attachment point of the Theraband. Grasp it with your arm extended forward. With your elbow extended, pull the band straight back. Extend your arm back as far as possible. Bring the arm back to the starting position in the same position.

Typical shoulder injuries or shoulder pain occur when moving overhead.Avoid these and prevent surgery on the shoulder joint!

3. Shoulder exercise: external rotation of the upper arm

Fig. 2: External rotation of the upper arm © trainingsworld

The arm is spread out by 90 ° and the elbow is angled by 90 °. Hold the arm with maximum internal rotation in front of the attachment point. Rotate your shoulders with full external rotation and keep your elbows and arms bent (see Fig. 2).

However, we only recommend this exercise with a supporting device, as the causes could possibly worsen!

4th exercise: delayed throwing

Stand in front of the attachment point; the shoulders are bent at 30 degrees. Bring your arm into a position as if you are about to throw. The shoulder blade is retracted, the arm and elbow are at a 90 ° angle, and the shoulder is turned completely outwards. Make a controlled throwing motion, then bring the arm back with a 30 ° flexion.

5th exercise: shoulder flexion

Stand sideways to the attachment point; the arm is straight, the shoulder fully extended. Bring your shoulder to the fully flexed position; the arm remains straight, the thumb points up.

6. Exercise: rowing exercise for the shoulder blade muscles

Stand facing the attachment point; elbows are straight, shoulders bent, and shoulder blades are fully extended. Pull back the band by squeezing your shoulder blades together and bending your elbows 90 degrees. Bring the arm back to the starting position with a controlled movement.

7. Exercise: Boxing exercise for the shoulder blade muscles

Stand sideways to the attachment point; arms are on the sides, elbows are bent, and shoulder blades are pressed together. Now make a few forward boxing movements. To do this, straighten your elbow, bend your shoulder, and slide your shoulder blade forward.

Remove the Theraband from the attachment point and stand with your feet in the middle of the tubes:

8. Exercise: in the shoulder blade level

Fig. 3: Exercise and representation of the “shoulder blade level” © trainingsworld

Spread the arm sideways away from the body - thumb pointing upwards - on the shoulder blade level until the arm is bent by 90 °. Return to the starting position (see Fig. 3).


The following stretching exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff should be performed regularly

1. Rotator cuff stretching exercise: chest stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms stretched out to your sides. Drop your knees to one side, making sure that the opposite shoulder is as firmly on the floor as possible. If necessary, you can fix the shoulder with the help of a partner or a sandbag. Hold this position for 1 minute and do 2 repetitions on each side.

2. Rotator cuff stretching exercise: stretching the posterior shoulder capsule

Fig. 4: Stretching the posterior shoulder capsule © trainingsworld

Bring your arm back over the front of your body and touch the opposite shoulder blade. With your free hand, gently push the elbow of the other arm back and up. Hold this position for 1 minute. Repeat the exercise with the other arm (see Fig. 4).


Use strength training to improve your core strength and avoid injuries.



Scapula plane - the natural plane of movement of the shoulder blade. With this forward movement of approx. 30 ° with the side of the body, the least amount of stress is exerted on the shoulder capsule and the ligaments (see Fig. 3).

Our tip from the Trainingsworld editorial team if you want to get rid of your shoulder pain and finally enjoy life again!

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