demonstration of the external rotation

external Rotations

External Rotations

The external roration is an exercise designed to strenghten the rotator cuff muscles


external rotation 

The External Rotation is one of the best exercises to strengthen the shoulder stabilizers (Rotator cuff). The easiest to do and learn is the standing external rotation, usually performed with a band)  Having said that, this isn’t the most effective exercise to train this movement. Research has shown that performing this exercise lying down on the side and externally rotating the shoulder from there recruits more of the rotator cuff muscles.  So this is a great progression from the standing position.
The key to performing a proper movement is to keep the keep a straight back while pulling your elbows back and glued to the side

How to do it


– stand upright and bend your elbow at 90 degrees

– Hold on to a band or handle sideways, meaning that the cord should be horizontal in front of your body (see pictures/video)

– place a towel between your elbow and your ribcage and push this against your side with your elbow

– Try to squeeze your shoulders blades together as you push your elbows down

– with a bend elbow, rotate your lower arm outwards without dropping the towel

– Slowly return to the start position.

Laying down:

This is the same position as standing. the only difference is that you lay down on your side rather than standing up and you rotate your lower arm upwards.

The resistance is normally provided by a dumbbell.

Exercise Tips:

  1. Your back must remain straight at all times and your torso should be kept still throughout the entire set.
  2. Don’t let your shoulders hunch 
  3. Having a towel between the ribcage and elbow really helps you perform this exercise correctly
  4. Pausing and squeezing at the back of the movement for a 1-2 count will increase intensity and results.

Alternative Exercises

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