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Exercises For Internal And External Shoulder Rotation

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What are internal and external shoulder rotation exercises?

Exercises for internal shoulder rotation work the muscles in your chest and front of your shoulder. Exercises for external shoulder rotation work the muscles in the back of your shoulder and upper back.

What should I do before I exercise?

Warm up and stretch before you exercise. Walk or ride a stationary bike for 5 to 10 minutes to help you warm up. Stretching helps increase range of motion. It may also decrease muscle soreness and help prevent another injury. Your healthcare provider will tell you which of the following stretches to do:

  • Crossover arm stretch: Relax your shoulders. Hold your upper arm with the opposite hand. Pull your arm across your chest until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position.
  • Shoulder flexion stretch: Stand facing a wall. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position.
  • Sleeper stretch: Lie on your injured side on a firm, flat surface. Bend the elbow of your injured arm 90° with your hand facing up. Use your arm that is not injured to slowly push your injured arm down. Stop when you feel a stretch at the back of your injured shoulder. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position.

How do I exercise with a weight?

Your healthcare provider will tell you how much weight to exercise with.

  • Shoulder internal rotation: Sit in a chair. Place a rolled up towel between your elbow and your side. Bend your elbow to 90°. Gently squeeze the towel with your elbow to prevent it from falling out. Hold the weight with your thumb pointing up. Slowly move the weight across your chest. Stop when your hand reaches your opposite arm. Hold this position for as many seconds as directed. Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Shoulder external rotation: Lie on your side with your injured shoulder facing up. Bend your elbow 90°. Place a rolled up towel between your elbow and your side. Hold a weight in your hand. Gently squeeze the towel with your elbow to prevent it from falling out. Slowly rotate your arm outward, but keep your elbow bent. Stop when you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as directed. Slowly return to the starting position.

How do I exercise with an exercise band?

  • Shoulder internal rotation: Tie one end of the exercise band to a heavy, secure object. Sit in a chair. Place a rolled up towel between your elbow and your side. Bend your elbow to 90°. Gently squeeze the towel with your elbow to prevent it from falling out. Slowly pull the band across your chest. Stop when your hand reaches your opposite arm. Hold this position for as many seconds as directed. Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Shoulder external rotation: Hold one end of the exercise band on the side that is not injured. Place a rolled up towel between your elbow and your side. Bend your elbow 90°. Squeeze the towel with your elbow. Grab the end of the band and slowly turn your arm outward, but keep your elbow bent. Stop when you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as directed. Slowly return to the starting position.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have sharp or worsening pain during exercise or at rest.
  • You have questions or concerns about your shoulder exercises.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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