The rotator cuff is group of muscles that are often injured due to overuse and traumatic shoulder injuries, such as a fractured clavicle (collarbone). A torn rotator cuff is also common in sports that require overhead movements, such as throwing or reaching.
Because every injury is unique, it's important to work closely with your physician and physical therapist to design a rehabilitation program that includes exercises specific to your injury, fitness level and fitness goals. Rehab exercise programs are designed primarily to help the athlete regain full range of motion and full strength to return to sports safely and quickly.
Isometric or static exercises are often used in the early part of injury rehab. During isometric exercises, you contract your muscles without movement. This maintains or builds muscle strength without risking joint damage as you heal. Isometric rotator cuff exercises are common rehab exercises used for shoulder injuries.
How to Do Isometric Rotator Cuff Exercises
- Stand sideways along a wall with your elbow at a 90-degree angle.
- Place the outside of your forearm against the wall.
- Press into the wall, contracting your muscles for 5 seconds, but don't move your shoulder. Repeat five times.
- Turn around and place the inside of your forearm against the wall; repeat the isometric exercise.
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