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Rotator Cuff Stretches

July 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

rotator cuff stretchesMany individuals looking to increase their range of motion due to an injury or perhaps to have a competitive advantage in their sport know that performing deep breathing techniques is vital to their success. It helps to calm down the nervous system and also helps the 4 rotator cuff muscles to relax. This allows you to move further and deeper into any rotator cuff stretches without pain.

Remind yourself often to breathe deeply. Practice deep inhalation through the nose and long expiration through the mouth a few times before you start any exercise.

Easy rotator cuff stretches and range of motion rotator cuff exercises usually work hand in hand to help accelerate patients along the road to recovery. However, there are cases where only one is required. Knowing a little more about each will arm you with useful information for your rotator cuff recovery.


Static stretching is when you hold the end position of the movement. It differs from ballistic stretching which involves bouncing, rocking motions and any stretches held less than 1-3 seconds. Passive stretching is most effective when done consistently and in proper form.

Tips for Static Rotator Cuff Stretching

- Move slowly and in a controlled fashion when stretching

- Stretch only until you feel a comfortable stretch or slight discomfort – never pain

- Hold the end position of the stretch for 5 to 20 seconds

- While holding, try to stretch a little more if you can

- Be careful to use correct form at all times

- Slowly and in a controlled movement, return to original position

- Repeat.

Duration is important for holding the stretch, with 20 seconds being optimal.

However, holding it for less is fine for starting out. Work up to 20 seconds, as long as it is not painful. Remember, a 20 second gentle stretch is better than a 5 second painful stretch.

Do each stretch 2 or 3 times, twice a day. However, you should begin with range of motion exercises to warm up the region and follow with stretching.

Avoid pain, avoid pain, avoid pain. It is your body’s way of telling you no – it’s vital that you listen to your body if you ever want to recover from a rotator cuff injury.

If you find that soreness in your shoulder in increased for more than 1 or 2 hours after stretching, the next session should involve gentler rotator cuff stretches.

There are 3 different categories for range of motion and rotator cuff stretching exercises. You progress from one to the next depending on pain and other limitations.

1. Passive: For very weak, painful or stiff shoulders, this type of exercise is using your good arm to guide your affected one throughout the movements. Use of overhead pulleys is great for this type of exercise.

2. Active Assistance: With this type of exercise, the injured shoulder does some of the motions itself, but the unaffected arm still assists and guides the injured one. Use of overhead pulleys or physioball is recommended for this type of exercise.

3. Active: This is when your affected arm does the entire movement unassisted. It is for when pain is lessened and motion is not too limited.

No matter which muscle of the body you are stretching, you can apply the above techniques to ensure you perform them properly and safely.

Here is a simple rotator cuff stretch to help get you started, it’s called:

Lying Flexion Exercise with Assisted Elevation

Goal: to improve your shoulder elevation while reaching overhead and still give yourself a good rotator cuff workout.

- Lie flat on the floor

- With both hands straight up above your shoulders, and the shoulders flexed

to 90°, hold the broomstick above your body

- In a slow and controlled motion, move the broomstick over your head, until you

feel a comfortable stretch in the injured shoulder.

- Hold the position at the top for 2-5 seconds and slowly return to original position

- Do 1-2 sets of 15 repetitions

This is just one of 12 easy rotator cuff stretches that you can do at home without the need for any special exercise equipment or gadgets.  Simply click the button below and let me show you just how easy and effective these stretches are!

stretches rotator cuff

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