Rotator Cuff Exercises Shoulder Injury Rehab – Ask Doctor Jo

Rotator Cuff Exercises Shoulder Injury Rehab – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I got a question
the other day in my comments section from a baseball player, and he was wondering how
to strengthen his rotisserie cup, no that’s not it. Rotator Club, no. Rotary Club? No,
actually it’s the rotator cuff. And so I’m gonna use some weights today to show you some
strengthening exercises. You don’t have to start off with a lot of weight, 2-2.5 pounds
just to get you going should do fine. So let’s get started. Welcome to my boudoir. So the
first exercise I’m gonna show you they’re all going to be lying down in this segment. And
then I’ll show you another video with them standing up. So I’m gonna have you lie down
on your stomach, and you want to be able to get on a couch or a bed or anywhere you can
put your arm straight out. If your arm is bent, then you’re not gonna be able to get
the exercises that you want in there. So I’m gonna take my weight that’s just about 2.5
pounds. And what I’m gonna do is keep my arm as straight a possible, and the first exercise
you’re gonna have to do is go straight up as far as you comfortably can. You want to
keep your arm as straight as you can, and then slowly come back down. Try not to hike
your shoulder up while you’re doing it. You’re lying down so your upper shoulder can get
relaxed on the bed and be supported. So you can focus on all those muscles that you’re
working right there. So keep it nice and straight, go straight up. Try that 10 times. And then
you’re gonna go back. So now, bringing it straight back. Try not to bring it all the
way up in the air like that, all you need to do is go parallel to your body and then
straight down. Try that one 10 times, see how it does. And then you want to go out to
the side. So same thing, you just want to go even to your body. You don’t wanna, see
how hard I’m struggling? You don’t want to have to struggle that much. You want it to
feel good, just burning that the muscles are working. So going straight out to the side.
10 times with that as well. Then you’re gonna roll over on your stomach. And we call these
serratus punches which is the muscles you’re working are the serratus muscles. With this,
you want to keep your arm as straight as you can. And you’re not actually punching like
that, that’s not what you’re doing. You want to keep your arm straight the whole time,
and you’re actually moving your whole arm up and down. So it you’re doing this, that’s
not what I’m looking for. You’re actually bringing that whole arm straight up and straight
down. Same thing, try 10 of those. See how it goes, if those are easy, bump it up to
15 or 20. If that’s still easy, then you can bump up your weights. So those were some strengthening
exercises for your rotator cuff lying down. In the next video that we have for the shoulder,
I’ll show you some standing exercises with some resistive bands and some weights. So
if you have any questions, leave them in the comments section, and it you’d like to check
out some other videos, including some more shoulder videos, please go check out my website
at And remember have fun, be safe, and I hope you feel better soon.

60 thoughts on “Rotator Cuff Exercises Shoulder Injury Rehab – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. I would do some of the shoulder exercises with a resistive band if you have an impingement. I have several shoulder videos for that. Just be careful not to irritate it any further!! Good luck!!

  2. Good Morning Dr. Jo,

    You kindly responded to my comments about your video regarding walking with a cane as the crutches seem to be wrecking my shoulders. You referenced your shoulder videos. I'll be doing these and your others religiously. BTW, I am 66 years old.

    Thanks again,

  3. i have dislocated my right shoulder 4 times,condition of my left shoulder is also very fragile. I have been away from any athletic activity for 1 month or so.Without surgery(just doing exercises) will i ever be able to return to the state where i don't have to fear that my arm is going to come loose?

  4. I just commented on one of your other videos about my neck and back pain.. I'm also 4 months out on rotator cuff repair surgery and officially "graduated" OT yesterday but still have a lot of work to do.

  5. Hi Doc Jo!  I injured my left shoulder about a month ago pulling up roofing shingles from a helper on a ladder who wasn't lifting them quite high enough.  I'm 61 but fit and work hard all of the time.  I'm a contractor. I'm still able to work over my head in some positions.  Straight to the left, I can only lift my arm 90 degrees or parallel to the floor.  A little more forward I can do better.   Pain is low but regular.  I'm about the same as a month ago.  I've started some pulling exercises in front of my body (both hands pulling away from each other) with a red stretchie!  I'm going to start some of yours as well.  My shoulder actually has a little pop once in a while.  Any ideas as to what's wrong.  Maybe just strained or pulled ligaments/tendons.  

  6. Good morning doc.  I paddled up river vigorously for several days.  Shoulder was in bad shape.  It is better now but I can't raise it over my head or to the side.  What should I do?

  7. No problem front and reverse…. Can only get to about Half the way parallel on the side lift before the pain prevents further extention, right arm only. suggestions?

  8. Question doctor , if i have slap tear and i have full range motion , there is a way to heal it without surgey. As my doctors said its a slap tear ,ultrasound found nothing

  9. Hi, Doctor Jo: I've found your videos to be the most helpful on Youtube!

    I am a 60-year-old female who was recently diagnosed with rotator cuff tear by lifting weights. The following is the U/S findings:

    There is full-thickness tear measuring 1.5 cm of the anterior and mid fibers of the supraspinatus with approximately 1 cm retraction. There is moderate tendinopathy of supraspinatus. There is a 1 cm area of calcification at the infraspinatus in keeping with calcific tendinopathy. There is moderate subdeltoid subacromial bursitis.

    I understand you have Rotator Cuff surgery yourself and would like to know what you think about the Arthroscopical surgery on Rotator Cuff. Please give me your suggestions!

    Thanks so much,


  10. Hey Doc, I don’t know if my shoulders pain Is caused by rotator cuff thingy,

    I just Started doing some exercise ,Mostly Pushups
    But about a week of doing pushups , I found out that my shoulder is really hurting me sometimes when I try to lift it up, or move .

    I then saw a proper way of performing pushups and found out that I was flaring out my arms too much instead of keeping the elbows underneath shoulder,

    Thus I think that’s why I have pain in my right shoulder only and the tip of shoulder blade end too.

    Plz help me ,What’s wrong with me? 

    Waiting for your response !!

  11. hello mam
    i want to ask
    i have minor durin gym shoulder injury a weak ago

    n still have very low pain in my shoulder
    n doctor suggest me to start ur gym workout by ignoring ur little pain

    so is my doctor is right to say this
    so my question is
    can i start my workout by ignoring such pain or hsve to take

    is exercise is imp for recovery of muscle injury

  12. I was punching the heavy bag in the gym and threw a left hook and I guess I tore a muscle in my shoulder ? It felt like I got punched in the shoulder I can throw jabs and upper cuts but too much pain to rotate my arm for a hook. Can't do pull ups either. So it's been almost 2 weeks now that iv been resting it I still have some discomfort but I'm hoping it will go away very soon so I can get back in to it

  13. My shoulder cracks every time I raise it or extend it forward, the cracking seems to come from the top of my shoulder what could this be?

  14. I've had pain in my left shoulder, almost 2 years now. It started when I was doing an exercise video with 2 10lb. weights. I was used to 5lb weights but sometimes I would use 10lbs. I lost about 15lbs in 2013, the year before my shoulder started hurting. I was using Jillian Michaels videos 5-6 days a week since I was 19! Now I'm 29, and I can't even do one day of it without my shoulder hurting afterwards. I just found Dr.Levi's rotator cuff strengthening video with a dumbbell and did it yesterday. That felt good, it did not hurt my shoulder. But I do not know what's wrong with my shoulder!

  15. Hi mam, I have both shoulder dislocation history, is this exercise will help me to prepare my shoulder to do some gym workouts ?

  16. Hello mam, my son plays baseball he is 11. He started complaining of shoulder pain. Would this Exercises work for him too? I believe he got injured from playing volleyball consistently at our family gatherings. Thanks

  17. hey mam, I just had surgery on my shoulder, I shattered my left shoulder and now have a metal plate and a rod and screws, it's been almost a month and I'm trying to get more movement in it, do you have any videos you recommend

  18. Dear Dctor Jo!

    thanks for the video.
    i have SS tendonities according to US.

    i have some questions:

    1) how often should i do those exercises? every day?
    2) how many sets do i need to do each time? or just 10 reps and that's it?
    3) should i do any warm up before i start? and any streches at the end?
    3) when will i be able to move to harder strengthning exercises?

    Great appreciation,

  19. Hi, thanks for your vid – I'm having a rotator cuff injury and my medic appointment is only next week. Are these excercises also a cure or only rehab to stabilize the muscle after surgery?

  20. Thanks for the information. In my case the pain raises when I try bench press in gym. I would appreciate if you can provide some details in my case.

  21. thanks a lot for the video. I have a 15 year old daughter who plays a lot of volleyball as a hitter and has recently had some shoulder pain. Will these exercises help strengthen her shoulder? I am not sure if it is rotator cuff pain or some other shoulder pain.

  22. Great video! I injured myself years ago in a car accident and then aggravated my injury playing sports. Your videos have helped me find relief. I'm now a musician and use some of the stretches from your other videos before I play guitar.

  23. I'm in my 70's. My doctor diagnosed me with a rotator cuff injury and suggested this video. I've tried it with a 5 lb weight, and can do all the exercises except for the swinging forward one. I can only move my arm forward and up about 20 degrees before the pain hits and I have to stop. Have you any suggestions? Do you think this indicates some other type of injury? Thanks.

  24. I hve grade 1 tear in supraspinatus

    Which exercise I should do ?? & it can be healed without surgery ??? Plzzz telll

  25. I had a car accident and injured my shoulder rotator cuff.  I have been having treatments and find that the recuperation is too slow.  I am so grateful I found your website and love your exercises that are relieving the constant pain.  I will let you know as I progress with my healing.

  26. When you do those flexion and extension, do you also need to make sure that the person's traps do not come up as well? And when doing those abductions, are you supposed to stress for the person to bring their shoulder blades together and traps down?

  27. Hi Doc!I like the video and do it. My question is I have sub acromial sub deltoid bursa effusion. I can't move hand back ,side upwards. Which exercise will help me.I have c4 c5 cervical &c5 c6 herniation. Iam 62 retired from bank.

  28. Hello Dr. Joe – turns out that 2 of the 4 muscles of my rotator cull is fully torn. I'm in no pain, just weaker on my right than on my left, and I'm a righty. Any advise going forward?

  29. Hi Dr. Jo. Love your videos. I had rotator cuff tear surgery in July I'm still having a tough time being able to raise up and out and behind my back I've been looking at a lot of your videos, I was going to pt now at 9wks and I feel the excerizes were not tough enough because really I don't feel much better at all. Going to do your excerizes with the resistive band and the where u were on the bed hanging with your arm up and out. I'm so ready to feel better and get back to work.

  30. I caught myself falling forward & MY arm & shoulder bent backward behind me ,oowch,tore ROTATOR cuff that way this is very Helpful! !

  31. In light of your suggestion to use light weights, is it too much to use the equipment at the gym? My surgeon told me two months post-op not to use the elliptical machine, but that was 9 months ago. I still feel pain on occasion. I was surprised when he told me post-op that my recovery from two total tears (supra and infra spinatus) would be one year.

  32. I have dislocation problems in my left shoulder. I can't rotate in external rotation. If I try to do exercises it will dislocate every time. Can you please help me, I need my shoulder strength back, plzzz_zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz_zz help me

  33. I already done my keyhole surgery and i don't consult any phisiyo in last 6 years. Can i do good exercise in home it can fix my shoulder problems? And if i have to consult a phisiyo how long I consulting a phisiyo, 1 year, or 2

  34. Hi Doctor Jo,

    I injured my shoulder and my ultrasound result says about rotator cuff: There is a mild tendinopathy of the supraspinatus tendon with no evidence of a rotator cuff tear. My family doctor said the rest, ice and do not move for a week. I injured my arm 3 days ago. If my arm is not gonna better and she said she will direct me to the physical therapy. In this case I would like to ask you suggestion what should I do for now.Should I wait with no movement or do any exercise? Thanks in advance.

  35. Just had my complete tear re attached 5 weeks ago. Noticed atrophy in my bicep within 1 week. Range of motion not good . I'm still in sling until 6 weeks. I'm doing pendulum motions. I hope I get my shoulder back.

  36. Hey Doctor Jo, thank you for your wonderful, funny and helpful videos. You bring a new meaning to the word doctor. Question: I have a painful right shoulder, only in specific positions and movements. My physiotherapist said look for videos for Rotator Cuff. I follow your work out with this video. I feel real pain only with the bear hug exc. Should I do more? Stop doing that specific exercise? or do it the same amount like all the others? Thanks, Mark

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