Target the Rotator Cuff in New Ways to Improve Your Shoulder's Function

The rotator cuff is important to the health of your shoulder.  If you have bursitis or tendonitis of the shoulder and you see a physical therapist, one of the exercises that you will need to do are shoulder external rotation exercises Shoulder external rotation movement targets three of the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

A well functioning rotator cuff, will pull the humerus down as the deltoids draw the arm overhead.  If the rotator cuff is not active, the upward pull of the deltoids is not counteracted.  This means that the humerus will travel upward and run into the bony arch that makes the top of the shoulder joint.  This unchecked upward movement of the humerus, compressing whatever is in its way (subacromial bursa, biceps tendon, supraspinatus tendon etc).

Classically the external rotation is done with the arm bent and held close to the body.  However, as you get stronger it is important to start strengthening the rotator cuff further away from your body.  Placing a varying sized balls at the side of your body to do external rotation will target different areas of your rotator cuff.  It will also start to strengthen your shoulder away from your body and functionally that is how we use our arms - not pinned up against our torso!  

The video below will demonstrate how to use a ball to do external rotation of the shoulder.  I am using the Hooked on Pilates HANDIBANDS to do this exercise.  The HANDIBANDS have a comfortable handle for gripping, at foot loop for leg exercises, are latex free, are adjustable, either end can be attached inside of a door jamn and there are a number of exercises you can do with them not attached to a door.  They also are my patent pending invention - please share and support Hooked on Pilates - woman owned small business manufacturing in USA!