Exercises to Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff and Prevent Injury

When you engage in any type of physical activity that includes moving your arms, you inevitably involve the shoulders. Whether it’s lifting weights, swimming or playing any kind of sport, you put your shoulders to work, which means you put it at risk of injury if you don’t take care of them.

When we talk about the shoulders, we are specifically focusing on the rotator cuff — the four muscles that help to stabilize the shoulders. The shoulder joints have a high range of motion, which makes it prone to getting dislocated if we don’t focus on exercising and stabilizing the joint.

Rotator Cuff Exercises to Strengthen and Prevent Injury

Focusing on exercising and strengthening the rotator cuff is extremely important to prevent serious injury and to improve your performance on anything you do.

1. Serratus Scoop


  • Using a resistance band attached to the wall, bend your elbows about 90 degrees at your side. Your shoulders should be relaxed and down, away from your ears.
  • Keeping your core tight and engaged, scoop your arms up and forward.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

2. KB Plank Drag


  • Get into a high plank position with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and with a dumbbell or a kettlebell placed outside your right hand.
  • Use your left hand to reach under your body and grab the weight to bring it outside of your left shoulder.
  • Repeat this exercise using your right hand all while maintaining a tight core and keeping your hips stable.
  • Perform three sets for 30 seconds each.

3. Reverse Fly


  • Grab a dumbbell with each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart with a slight bend in your knees. Maintain a straight back and bend slightly forward at your waist.
  • Start to extend your arms horizontally without locking your elbow and squeeze your shoulder blades as you move your arms away from your body.
  • Only raise your arms in line with your shoulders and avoid reaching above.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

4. Sleeper Stretch


  • Start by laying on your side with your head on a foam roller or a pillow for support.
  • Bring your bottom arm to a 90-degree angle with your elbow touching the ground and your forearm pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Using your top arm, slowly press your bottom forearm toward the ground until you can start to feel a gentle stretch in the back of your shoulder. Only stretch until you are comfortable.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

5. Doorway Stretch


  • Stand in a doorway and lift your arms to a 90-degree ankle placing your arms against the side of the door frame. Place your right foot in front of your left foot.
  • Keeping your shoulders down and your core tight, start to lean forward until you start to feel a stretch in your chest and the front of your shoulders. Only go as far as you comfortably can and release.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments. 


Mullen, G. J. (2016, April 12). 9 Essential Exercises to Prevent Rotator Cuff Injuries. Retrieved from http://www.stack.com/a/9-essential-exercises-to-prevent-rotator-cuff-injuries

F. (n.d.). 10 Best Exercises To Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff. Retrieved from https://www.builtlean.com/2016/06/20/rotator-cuff-exercises/

5 Exercises for Rotator Cuff Pain. (n.d.). Retrieved from 5 Exercises for Rotator Cuff Pain