Best Exercises For Rotator Cuff


Best Exercises for Rotator Cuff:


My previous shoulder-based blog post discussed how to use the Total Gym in the initial phase of shoulder rehabilitation or post rehabilitation. As shoulder girdle strength and muscular coordination improves, movements can become more complex over time. The following exercises will help you develop more coordination and strength training for the various ways the shoulder moves every day including sports activities.


Complexity can involve changes to tempo, intensity, direction, and/or number of joints involved in a movement. This workout will harness these elements of complexity. When learning these new movements/exercises, start at 60% intensity to ensure proper form and ideal muscle activation. Focus on shoulder blades sliding down the back and slightly together with each arm movement.


Repetitions can range from 8-12, 1-3 sets.

1. Supine cross body pullover

  • Focus is on the back of the arm and shoulder blade area
  • Place gentle pressure through the feet and remember to initiate with the core

2. Seated or low kneeling cross body extension

  • Gradually intensify this movement
  • Remember to incorporate upper back extension, meaning lifting through the upper back then the low back, otherwise there is greater stress to the lower back

3. Seated or kneeling lateral cross body extension

  • Wider kneeling is easier for balance
  • Keep the knees, hips and shoulders aligned. In other words, avoid leaning backward

5.  Lunge cross body extension

  • Begin with a stationary lunge while learning the arm movement
  • Lunging can be either facing away or facing the tower

6. Squat with catch and release for ball working on speed work

  • Intensity of squats is moderate
  • To increase complexity, the ball can increase in weight and/or increase the rail height for squats

7. Pull Ups

  • Vary tempo – super slow, fast up slow down, slow up fast down & plyometrics

8. Overhead Press

  • Vary tempo – super slow, fast up slow down, slow up fast down & plyometrics

Elizabeth Leeds, DPT

Elizabeth Leeds, owner of Seaside Fitness and Wellness, combines her background in physical therapy, personal training, and Pilates in her practice and teaching. As a pelvic floor physical therapist working at Comprehensive Therapy Services in San Diego, her passion for pregnancy and postpartum is seen in her mission to empower women with knowledge and understanding of their physical changes, and how to address them to prevent future issues. Additionally, Elizabeth is a Master Trainer and developer for Total Gym’s GRAVITY education.

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