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Looking after the Rotator Cuff: stretches and strengthening exercises

Looking after the Rotator Cuff: stretches and strengthening exercises

ROTATOR CUFF STRENGTHENING AND STABILITY EXERCISES

For the following exercises perform:

3 sets of 10 reps at light weight – start with 1 -2 kg DB or a light resistance band.

Progress weight slowly (by 1kg).  You are unlikely to need to go beyond 5kg (for F) and 7.5kg (M).

Before you start slightly lift your shoulders up and back to set your posture.

Maintain this posture while you complete your exercise.

1.    Internal/External rotation with arms by side

Start Position:
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Finish Position:

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2.    Internal/external rotation with arms at 45 degrees

Start Position:

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Finish Position:

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3.  Internal/External rotation with arms at 90 degrees

Start Position:

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Finish Position:

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4.  Internal/external rotation with straight arms

3 sets of 10 reps at 1kg to start.

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Keeping arms out straight turn palms up and down.

5.  Plyometric (oscillations at end of range in external rotation)

Do 10 oscillations maintaining good shoulder position and posture.  Repeat x 3.

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Please note if you have any current injuries or symptoms in your shoulders these exercises may need to be modified.  Please cease the exercises causing symptoms and see your Allied Health Professional for advice.

Also remember the rotator cuff are small stabilising muscles of the shoulder and these exercises should only be performed at light weight (1 to 5kg).  The weight will of course vary from one individual to the next but it is unlikely that these exercises would require more than 3 to 5kg for the average active person or 5kg to 7.5kg for a competitive athlete to attain their benefit.

 

BENEFICIAL STRETCHES TO MAINTAIN GOOD ROTATION OF THE SHOULDER JOINT

1.   Internal rotation stretch (aka posterior capsule stretch)

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat x 3

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Be sure to keep the shoulder in contact with the ground as you lower your forearm towards the floor.

2.  Chest stretches at three different angles:  45/90/120 degrees

Hold each position for approximately 1 minute.  You can add a light weight (such as 1kg) in your hands if you have difficulty feeling this stretch.

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Using a roller down the length of the spine, keep the head supported and the bottom elevated off the floor. Lower the forearms towards the floor keeping the horizontal alignment of the wrist and elbow, i.e. forearm should be parallel to the floor.

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Change the angle of the arms so that the elbow is at 90 degrees to the shoulder joint, like the “STOP SIGN”.

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Change the angle of the arms to place them slightly overhead.

3.     Anterior shoulder stretch

Hold the stretch for 3 seconds and repeat 3 times.

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Link your hands behind your back and pull your shoulders back.

4.    Shoulder stretches:  palms up and palms down

Hold each position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

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Walk your hands as far behind you as you can and then keep them as close together as possible. Be careful as you turn your palms upwards not to place to much pressure on the wrist joints.

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Walk your hands behind you as far as possible while keeping your hands as close together as possible. Pull your shoulders back and hold the stretch.

5.  Posterior shoulder stretch

Hold this stretch for 1 minute.

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Turn palms up and press chest towards floor. Be careful to keep your hips above your knees rather than sitting on your heels.

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