The elevated external rotation is a relatively easy exercise for most people to perform. All you need is a resistance band and a very small area to carry out this exercise. You can perform these in the comfort of your own home, at your office or even in a hotel room when traveling.
Muscles Targeted: The elevated external rotation exercise primarily targets the small muscles, tendons and ligaments in the inner shoulder area, particularly the teres minor and infraspinatus (rotator cuff). This exercise is a favorite for baseball and softball players (especially pitchers) from the high school level all the way to the Major Leagues. The elevated external rotation exercise, when properly performed, will increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles in this region and may also be implemented by athletic trainers and physical therapists assisting athletes and patients who are recovering from injury.
Exercise Instructions: To execute the elevated external rotation exercise, you first need to simply step on the band. Next, grab one of the handles and lift it to shoulder level with your palm down and your elbow and upper arm parallel to the floor. Next, slowly raise the handle upward and back until your forearm is perpendicular to the floor with your fist at approximately the same height as your ear (your upper arm and forearm should end up forming a 90 degree angle at the top of this exercise). Finally, slowly lower the handle back to the starting position. This exercise increases the strength and flexibility of the shoulder region, particularly the rotator cuff and is also often used as a warm up exercise prior to working out or beginning an athletic event.
Things To Avoid: Since the shoulder is a very delicate area, it is imperative to be extremely careful when doing any shoulder related exercises, especially those that isolate the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff can be easily inflamed and if you feel any pain or discomfort whatsoever you should stop the exercise immediately. It is extremely important to know about the rotation pattern of the shoulder muscles and the overall functionality of the entire shoulder and neighboring regions. This will help to maximum the effectiveness of your workouts and reduce the chances of injuring yourself.
Do not use any kind of heavy weight to perform this exercise. This might cause shoulder injury. Use light weight bands that are safe. You must also minimize the motion of the scapula and torso. The elevated external rotations should never be painful. If you experience any pain, stop doing it for a while until you recover. Those who have a history of shoulder injury must also avoid this exercise. Since it can aggravate the area, those who have serious shoulder injuries must avoid it at all costs. The elevated external rotation exercise should always be executed in a slow, controlled and deliberate manner. Avoid fast, quick, jerking movements as they can only do harm while performing this exercise and should be avoided at all times.
Reps and Sets: Beginners should start with 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions per set. This is a high repetition exercise so your goal should be to work up to 25-40 reps per set to gain the full benefits of this movement.
Other Exercises To Use: Along with the elevated external rotation, you may opt for lateral raise exercises with internal rotations. Another good exercise to perform is the basic external rotation. You can perform these with dumbbells or with resistance bands, whichever you prefer. Find the solution that provides you with the best results according to your individual objectives.