Rotator Cuff Exercises
If you sustained a rotator cuff injury, this article will show you some physiotherapy exercises that you will need to do that will be taught by your physiotherapist. They are designed to strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff and the shoulder – they should not cause you any pain, especially sharp pain. If you do feel any sharp pain during the exercise, stop and rest, and start again with a lighter load/weight. Before you start, make sure that you warm up first.
Warm up by doing brisk walk or jog on the spot for about 5 minutes until you find that your heart rate has increased. Then stretch your shoulders and arms, and do gentle pendulum exercises at the shoulder (to do this, gently bend over with a chair or table, and gently using body movement, allow your hand and shoulder to make an “O”. Keep your shoulder and hand muscles relaxed and perform the exercises slowly for about 5-10 minutes count.
For the exercises below, repeat them each about 5-10 minutes each and with increasing load with each passing week. Start light (about 1-2 ounces) and gradually move up to 2, 4, 6 etc. After each sessions, put a cold/ice pack on your shoulder for about 10 minutes.
Make sure that the ice pack is wrapped in towel. If you think you have sustained a rotator cuff/shoulder injury but you’re unable to receive physiotherapy treatment, you can consider Steve’s rotator cuff therapy exercises that he used to overcome his rotator cuff injury.
If you do all four rotator cuff exercises daily, your rotator cuff muscles will become stronger, and you will prevent further rotator cuff injuries and increase your shoulder strength.
Rotator Cuff Exercise #1
Lie flat on your stomach on a table or a bed. Put the arm that you want to strengthen on the outside, and put your arm at shoulder level with your elbow bent at 90° degrees and your hand down. Keeping your elbow bent, slowly raise your hand/wrist until your hand becomes level with your shoulder. Repeat by lowering your hand again. Do for 5 minutes, and add a load/weight if it’s too easy for you. Repeat with your right arm.
Rotator Cuff Exercise #2
Lie on your side with a rolled up towel/small pillow under the top armpit. The bottom hand should be comfortably rested on the surface, at your side with elbow bent 90° degrees. The hand on top – roll the shoulder out and raise the forearm till it’s pointing upwards (similar to a backhand swing in tennis). Lower your arm gently. Repeat for 5 minutes, then do this exercise with the other hand. Add resistance if necessary.
Rotator Cuff Exercise #3
This exercise is the exact opposite to exercise #2. Lie on your right and bend your right elbow to 90° degrees. Then slowly roll your right forearm in at the shoulder, and your forearm should be able to reach your left chest (like a forehand swing in tennis). Then lower the forearm slowly. Repeat for 5 minutes, then continue with the other hand. Add weights if necessary.
Rotator Cuff Exercise #4
Standing upright, lift up both shoulder to about 90° degrees in front of you, and repeat for five minutes or until tired. You can also use a weight if it’s too easy for you. Some variations to this is that instead of lifting your hands 90° degrees in front, you can lift your hands 90° degrees to the side, at a horizontal angle etc. There should not be any pain.
If you think you have sustained a rotator cuff/shoulder injury but you’re unable to receive physiotherapy treatment, you can consider Steve’s rotator cuff therapy exercises that he used to overcome his rotator cuff injury.
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