Shoulder Exercises | Strengthen the Rotator Cuff


Shoulder Exercises: Protecting the Rotator Cuff and Preventing Shoulder Injury

Welcome back to the blog! Today we’ll be focusing on shoulder exercises and issues related to shoulder injury. We’ve been receiving a flood of questions lately from athletes who rely on their shoulders, including those in throwing sports like baseball and football, and I think it’s time to address some of these concerns on the blog.

Most shoulder injury issues involve the rotator cuff, the set of four muscles that wrap around the tip of the upper arm bone and provide the shoulder with its ability to rotate in a full circle. And most rotator cuff problems can be reduced by lowering the amount of weight we lift and reducing the strain we place on this area. Replacing heavy barbells with lighter weights and resistance bands can increase blood flow, prevent additional shoulder injury, and allow a stressed rotator cuff to heal.




Workout Reps Workout Sets

Straight Arm Pulls


External Rotation



High L 

8-12 2-3


Shoulder Exercises: Using the Resistance Band to Reduce and Prevent Shoulder Injury

Let’s start our series of shoulder exercises with the KB PowerBands. Attach the back strap of the band around a vertical support and insert the clip through both rings. Warm up by holding the handle in one hand and pulling that arm across your chest. Then adjust your body so you’re facing the support pole and raise the handle into the air, rotating your arm at the shoulder. Now raise the resistance band to your side, the way I do in the video. These quick shoulder exercises will loosen the area before we begin the true workout.

Shoulder Exercises: Preventing Shoulder Injury

Face the anchor point and hold the handle of the resistance band in front of you. Now draw it out to your side with a straight arm. Bring your arm back to the center with a slow movement, counting three full seconds. After 8 to 12 repetitions of this, you should feel a burn in your shoulder. This means you’re strengthening the shoulder area, preventing shoulder injury and using low resistance to help an existing shoulder injury heal.

Shoulder Exercises: External Rotation

Shoulder exercises using external rotation keep the elbow in the same place while the forearm swings left and right like a gate. This rotates the shoulder away from the midline and places just enough resistance on the rotator cuff. Tuck a towel between your torso and upper arm in order to maintain your body alignment while keeping your elbow still. Then draw the handle out to your side and back toward your midline in a three-second count.

To prevent shoulder injury and make the most of these shoulder exercises, repeat this move 8 to 12 times.

Shoulder Exercises: The High L

While gripping the handle of the resistance band, raise your elbow out to your side as if you’re resting it on a shelf. Keep your elbow in the same place and raise the handle toward the ceiling. Lower it again in a three-second count. Remember, these are shoulder exercises, not back exercises, so keep your back steady and confine the motion to your shoulder area. As with the first two shoulder exercises, repeat this 8 to 12 times.

Finish these shoulder exercises with another set of straight arms lifts, as described above. But this time, forget the three-second count and pick up the pace. Keep this up for 5 to 6 seconds.

After completing this entire set of shoulder exercises, rest for two to four minutes, and then begin again from the top. If you repeat these shoulder exercises three or four times a week, you’ll be able to prevent serious shoulder injury and keep your body safe.


Shoulder Training Equipment

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