Rotator Cuff Exercises

The Rotator Cuff (Shoulder)

Having the greatest Range of Motion (ROM) of any joint in the human body comes at a price:

  • Inherent joint instability;

  • Increased susceptibility to injury.

The Rotator Cuff is comprised of 4 muscles and their tendons, which allow the shoulder its unique ROM. A careful balance between strength, flexibility, and stability needs to be maintained.

The exercises on these pages are designed to provide that balance.

The exercises illustrated on this page use stretch cords to apply resistance to the movements of the arm.

Stretch cords are a very versatile piece of equipment that all athletes should have. They can be found at most sports superstores or through the club shop.

General Notes

Aim to complete 20-30 repetitions of each exercise, 2 or 3 times each week. At no point should pain be felt in the shoulder.

Demonstrated & Explained

External Rotation

Improve shoulder strength during external rotations with this exercise. Take care not to rotate beyond 45°. Repeat 20-30 times.

Internal Rotation

Similarly, improve internal rotation strength with this exercise. Again take care not to rotate beyond 45°. Repeat 20-30.


Improve the shoulder’s capacity for lifting away from the body. Take care not to lift beyond 45°. Repeat 20-30 times.


This exercise increases the shoulder’s pulling strength. Repeat 20-30 times.