Rotator Cuff Internal Rotations – Resistance Bands Exercise Guide


Internal rotations using exercise bands are excellent for strengthening the rotator cuff muscles. This is a high rep movement which is ideal when using elastic tubing due to the light tension and resistance the band allows. All you need is a doorknob or a place that can provide support to the elastic band. This allows you to perform this exercise anywhere since it’s truly portable. You can get a great workout in the convenience of your home, a hotel room when traveling and even your office at work!

Muscles Targeted: Internal rotations primarily target the rotator cuff muscles. There are also other muscles involved like the rhomboids and forearms as secondary muscle groups. This exercise is great for improving shoulder mobility and joint flexibility. Internal rotations are generally performed to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders. This is performed to maintain the health and structure of this area which can become injured or overstrained in sports like baseball, tennis and golf.


Exercise Instructions: You can perform this exercise standing, while sitting or while lying down on a bench. We will cover the standing version in this exercise guide. Attach the end of the band to a fixed object like a door knob, pole or even a tree. Just make sure it’s completely stable. Grab the handle at one end and walk a few feet away from the fixed object to create tension in the band. Place your elbow up against the side of your body and tuck your arm into your side. Position your forearm at 90 degrees with your arm and parallel to the ground. Slowly pull the band towards your stomach and away from the fixed object. Pause for a second at the finish position and then slower bring your arm back to the starting position to complete a full repetition. Make sure your elbow is tucked into your side during the entire movement and only move the band with your arm, not your shoulder. This allows all of the tension to be placed on the rotator cuff muscles. With internal rotations you should always use light weights and high reps (20-30 or even higher). Remember to breathe normally and never hold your breath while doing this exercise. Your tempo should be slow and controlled throughout the movement.



Things To Avoid: When performing internal rotations you should not use heavy weights. Using heavy weights and low reps might cause shoulder injuries and pain to the delicate rotator cuff muscles. Less than 20 reps is also not advisable with this type of exercise. If you are performing the exercise after shoulder surgery, you must take necessary precautions and always consult with your doctor before starting any type of exercise program. If you feel any kind of pain while doing this movement, stop immediately to avoid injury.

Reps and Sets: High reps is the key with internal rotations so focus on 20-30 reps per set. If you want to do more, position your body closer to the fixed object in order to reduce the tension in the band and increase the reps to 40-50 per set. Total sets should be 2-3 for beginners and 4-5 for more advanced individuals.

Other Exercises To Use: To get complete coverage of the rotator cuff muscles from different angles, its important to also implement several sets of external rotations into your workout. A typical routine will be one full set of 20-30 reps of internal rotations immediately followed up with another set of 20-30 reps with external rotations.

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