Rotator Cuff Exercises & Stretches with Resistive Bands – Ask Doctor Jo

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Rotator Cuff Exercises & Stretches with Resistive Bands: These rotator cuff stretches are great to strengthen or rehab shoulder. These exercises are performed with resistive bands, and they can give your shoulder a great workout. For more physical therapy videos or to Ask Doctor Jo a question, visit

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More Details About This Video:
If you are having shoulder pain, most likely the rotator cuff is involved. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. They are very important in shoulder movement and stability. You can have a strain, sprain, partial tear, or full thickness tear of the muscles.

This video will show you some simple strengthening exercises standing up to get your rotator cuff strong again. You will need a resistive band for these exercises and a door to hold the band in place. Put a knot in the middle of your band, and close the door on the band. For the first exercise, place the band above your head. Make sure the door is closed!! You are going to do rows. Try staggering your feet so you can get a good stable stance. You want to keep your elbows in close to your body and make a rowing motion. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you pull back. Make sure you are using a slow controlled motion. Try 10-15, and work your way up to 20-25, then increase the band. You want to repeat this with the band anchored right in front of you, and then down below by your feet.

The next set of exercises is going to be internal and external rotation of your shoulder. Anchor the band right in front of you again. You want to be able to hold your arm bent with the elbow at a 90-degree angle. First is external rotation. Start with your arm at your stomach, and pull out to parallel with the door. Then you can turn around for internal rotation. Have your arm parallel with the door, and then pull your arm into your stomach. The last exercise is bicep curls. You can step on the band, and keep your elbow by your side. Pull all the way up and all the way down. Make sure you are doing the full motion to maximize working the muscle. Make sure you are controlling the band; don’t let the band control you!

DISCLAIMER: Doctor Jo is a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy, however, this video is only designed to help you perform the correct technique of exercises that have ALREADY been given to you by your health professional. They are NOT to take the place of going to your own doctor or therapist. There are many manual techniques that a therapist can do that simply can not be done on your own. Your own therapist will also ensure that you are doing correct techniques with your exercises and stretching. If these techniques aren’t done right, they won’t help, and they could make things worse. So, if you experience any pain while doing these techniques, STOP immediately and see your doctor.

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AskDoctorJo says:

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Nori S. says:

I love you, thank you!!!! SUBBED

Chris C says:

Great video, I have shoulder pain but x-ray showed nothing. I dont think I have a tear (self diagnosed, I cant go to confirm due to pandemic) shoulder is painful at night but I can move arm freely over my head and good range of motion with little pain, there is some throbbing on top of shoulder, and can do the stretches in this video. Pain is in Supraspinatus on top of shoulder, no pain in arm. These are helping but wondering if this is more a impingement issue and not a tear.

Hugo Palomares says:

How often should we do these?

Eleni Kamisakis says:

Does consistency with this excercise help tp alleviate pain and heal tendonitis of the arm and shoulder? I'm in so much pain and can't make it to PT right now. I have a foam roller and resistace bands. Any feedback you can give would be mich appreciated.

Regards, Eleni

jtrude says:

Thank you so much. I recently injured both rotator cuffs and was looking some useful exercise tips as I recover. Lots of videos out there but yours is by far the best.

Kyme Morris says:

I've been doing your other video for shoulder strengthening exercises. Do I do this video with the resistance band next after a week or two of doing the exercises in the first video, or do I do both videos together?

Barry R says:

hey Doctor Jo , hope all is well. I tried these since December without much relief from the nerve pain in my shoulder. had massage therapy for 4 weeks too. I had a doctor appt which was cancelled last week due to him being sick. so trying to stretch my arm when laying on a couch, just letting it hang down while on my back, i get a burn from inside my shoulder to my inside elbow joint. any ideas?

Parul says:

Pls send the link of resistance band..

CCW says:

What weight resistance bands should I use?

Diane Owen says:

Your RTC stretches and strengthening exercises are Really helping!!! I'm an equestrian with overuse of right shoulder. I'm finally getting some relief! Thank you!!

Ralph Rodriguez says:

Helped after one set. Thank you very much!

Robert Santos says:

Thank you for this..

Faheema Patel says:

How often during the week can these be done? I've tried exercising my shoulder once a day, and once the next day with a light resistant band. I took a break today. My shoulder is hurting quite a bit today though. With numbness into my fingers. My pain is mainly to the front of my shoulder which I think is my rotary cuff. My shoulder was partially out of place. Since I got it put back into place it's been hurting since.

hollister lowe says:

I had a MRI and some slight tearing was seen. Are these exercises helpful and what exactly are they doing to the muscle?

Mukul Pareek says:

Beautiful Doctor with knowledge!👌

francesco tirelli says:

How many times per week should I do these excercises please?

Kalai Arasan says:

can't do this exercise ??? Ma'am .. now I'm doing some exercise..My shoulder dislocated last month

Barry R says:

good morning Doctor Jo, Hope all is well. I have a question concerning a Bicep tendon by the shoulder. I seem to have strained it pulling wire at a jobsite. not really sure what exercises to do for it. it seems to hurt through the bicep itself, but when raising my arm up the pain comes from the shoulder area.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! also wondering your thoughts on a bicep band Thanks

marilynn cottrell says:

I'm 77 yrs old, had rotor cuff surgery, I had a hole, tear, and tendon repair ,had to wear sling for 8 weeks, plus keeping my arm next to my side for 6 weeks of physical therapy, it's been 3 and half months since surgery, I go to pt 3 days a week, but I still cant get my arm up more then 6 inches, is this normal?

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