Rotator Cuff Exercises

By Jared Ernest

The Rotator Cuff and Exercises

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach to the bones of the shoulder joint. The function of the rotator cuff is to move the arm bone and also keep the shoulder joint stable. The reason it is called the rotator cuff is that the tendons encircle and “cuff” the shoulder bone.

JOI Shoulder Rehab

JOI Shoulder Rehab


Your shoulder is very dependent on the rotator cuff for its ability to function normally and remain stable. Weakness in the rotator cuff muscles can lead to pain and eventual damage to the shoulder joint. Strengthening and stretching the muscles of the shoulder are a unique and specific method of exercise. Just going to the gym and performing general upper body strengthening will not be effective to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.


All require the use of a resisted band.

  • Arms extended standing with band grasped in hands. Perform rowing motions with elbows moving to 90 degrees and focus on squeezing and holding shoulder blades together
  • Arm at side with the elbow bent to 90 degrees with a towel held in the armpit. Start at the stomach and rotate out from the body with the arm at side. These exercises are done for s specific amount of sets and reps. These are only a couple examples of the exercises that will help keep your rotator cuff muscles strong.


JOI Rehab employs experienced Physical and Occupational Therapists that can organize a complete program for effective strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles. Since these exercises are dependent on correct mechanics not only to help strengthen the muscles but not cause injury, a professional should be sought out to demonstrate.

If you are a throwing athlete or have a family member that is involved with these activities, then there is an even more specific set of exercises called the Throwers Ten exercises. These exercises help offset the repetitive stress of overhead motions with the requirement of slowing the arm down after the throwing motion. These types of specialty exercises are available for instruction at JOI Sports Medicine center. Call to make an appointment at JOI-2000.

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