Strength exercises are a very important part of a complete rotator cuff recovery, but try to do them too early in the rehab process (like most people do) and you’ll do more harm than good.

In fact, exercises are one of the last stages in the rehab process, so make sure you’ve healed your rotator cuff injury first before even thinking about strength exercises.

When beginning strength exercises start by working on the large muscles groups around your shoulders, like your upper back and neck, your chest, and your arms. Once you feel some strength returning to these muscle groups, then start to work on the smaller, more specific, rotator cuff muscles.

Here’s a list of safety precautions to get you started with strength exercises for rotator cuff injury. And if you need a few sample exercises, head on over to and do a search for chest exercises with dumbbells or upper back exercises with dumbbells. But remember…

  • Always start with a very light weight.
  • Don’t do a lot of exercises in one session; just choose 3 or 4 to start with and then choose a different 3 or 4 next time.
  • Always allow at least 2 to 3 of rest in between each session.
  • Start with 3 sets of 6 repetitions with 30 seconds rest between each set.
  • When you can perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions without any pain or discomfort increase to 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
  • When you can perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions without any pain or discomfort increase to 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
  • When you can perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions without any pain or discomfort move to a slightly heavier weight and go back to 3 sets of 6 repetitions.

If you’ve hurt your rotator cuff or you’re trying to recover after a shoulder surgery, take a look at our comprehensive, 7 step rotator cuff treatment system.

Until next time; stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.


Kind regards,

Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach


P.S. Any thoughts, comments or questions? Post them below. Or, help spread the Stretch Coach message by sharing, liking or tweeting.

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