Supine Rotator Cuff

Body Part : Abs, Shoulders
Equipment : No Equipment
Difficulty : Beginner

Step 1

Starting Position: Lie supine (on your back) on an exercise mat or firm surface, bending your knees until your feet are positioned flat on the floor 12-18″ from your buttocks. Extend your arms out from your sides level with your shoulders, bending your elbows to 90 degrees with your forearms vertical to the floor and wrists in a neutral position (neither flexed nor extended; forearms, wrists and hands aligned vertically). Breathe deeply for 30 seconds relaxing your body and allowing gravity to gently pull your lower back and shoulders towards the floor.

Step 2

Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulder down and back) without increasing the arch in your low back or lifting your hips off the floor. Hold this position throughout the exercise.

Step 3

External Rotation: Gently rotate your forearms backwards towards the floor without arching your lower back or changing your wrist position. Your goal is to rotate your forearms backwards until the backs of forearms, wrists and hands all make contact with the floor and remain aligned together. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds before slowly returning to your starting position.

Step 4

Internal Rotation: Gently rotate your forearms forward towards the floor without flexing your torso (bending forward from your waist line) or raising the backs of your shoulders off the floor. Your goal is to rotate your forearms forward until the fronts of your hands are 2-4″ off the floor (20-30 degrees off the floor). Keep your forearms, wrists and hands aligned and hold this position for 15-30 seconds before slowly returning to your starting position.

This exercise stretches and strengthens your rotator cuff muscles in your shoulders in a stable and isolated manner. Healthy rotator cuff muscles permit healthy joint movements at the shoulder, reducing your likelihood of injury and pain. Try to perform this exercise adjacent to a mirror that will allow you to monitor any undesired movement in the hips, ribs, shoulder or low-back. This is a good warm-up exercise to prepare the shoulders for heavier loads during exercises like the dumbbell bench press or standing barbell shoulder press.