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

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

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. These are going
to be the rotator cuff strengthening exercises part duex! So I already showed you the ones
lying down. And so now I’m gonna show you some standing up and using the resistive band.
So all you need is a resistive band and a door. So let’s get started. So I’m gonna start
off with the yellow band. Now remember the yellow band is the lightest resistance, so
you might want to start with the yellow band and if it becomes easy, then you can work
your way up with the resistance. Any time I’m using resistive band with a door, I like
to put a knot in the middle and that’s so when you put it in the door and you close
the door, once you start pulling on it, it won’t fly back into your face. So we’re gonna
start up hight with the first one. We’re gonna do rows and we’re gonna do them in 3 different
directions. So we’re gonna start off with the high. Now when you close the door, make
sure that door is closed when you’re pulling so the door doesn’t fly open and it doesn’t
go into your face. So with the rows, I usually stagger my feet. You can keep your feet together
as long as you’re not leaning back while you’re doing it. You want to keep you back nice and
straight, and you want to keep you elbows in. A lot of times people try to wing them
out, but you really want to keep them close to your side. So when you’re pulling, you
want to pull downwards and back. And you want to squeeze those shoulder blades almost like
somebody’s got their hand in the middle of your back and you’re trying to squeeze their
hand. Make sure you’re controlling the band, and don’t let the band control you. So try
about 10 of those. If it’s easy, bump it up to 15 or 20, if that’s easy, then bump up
your resistive band. Then next, you’re gonna bring it down to right in front of you. So
you’re gonna take that knot, close the door, make sure it’s closed, so it doesn’t fly back
into your face, or into your stomach. Now this time the rows are gonna be straight in
front of you. So you’re just gonna pull straight back. All the position’s the same, just pull
back like you’re trying to squeeze your shoulder blades into someone’s hand that’s right on
your spine. Make sure you’re controlling it, going in and coming out. Now this yellow band’s
probably too easy for me, but I’m just kind of demonstrating what you’re supposed to be
dong right now. And then you’re going to do the last one with the rows down at the bottom.
So you’re gonna come down, make sure that door’s closed, same position, keeping those
elbows in, and now you’re pulling upwards. Still squeezing those shoulder blades in.
Alright, very nice. Ok. So the next set of of exercises you’re going to do is an internal
and external rotation with your shoulder. So what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna put it around
the doorknob. so it will be right even and level with me. And I’ve got a double band.
You can double band it if it’s easy, if it’s not, then you can do just one. Now this time
you want to keep your elbow bent and across your stomach. Keep your elbow by your side.
If you feel like your elbow’s coming out, then you can wrap up a towel and squeeze it
into your body. And all you’re gonna do, is your gonna pull out just to parallel. You
don’t wanna try and go further out right now, you wanna keep it right there. And then slowly
come in. And slowly come back out. You control the band, don’t let the band control you.
Now I’m just gonna shift arms for time’s sake, but you would turn around and then you have
your elbow by your side here, arm straight out. Use the towel if you need feedback to
keep that elbow in. And now you’re gonna pull into your stomach. And slowly back out. So
you’re not doing this, that elbow’s coming way out. Keep that elbow by your side. Keep
your arm at a 90 degree angle. Pulling in, and slowly coming back out. Now the last one
with the band. You can do it with the band, you can do it with weights if you have weights.
I like using the band cause it gives you resistance both ways. But what I’m gonna do, is I’m actually
gonna step on the band. My elbow’s gonna be at the side again, and you’re just gonna do
a bicep curl. So you’re coming up. Curl all the way up. And bring your arm all the way
back down. This is not working the whole muscle. You want to come all the way up, all the way
back down. Now you can do a series with your hand up. Then your thumb up. And then you
palm, or hand, down. And that’s gonna work different parts of your bicep muscle. So again
you can start off with 10. Move your way up. If those are easy, then increase your resistive
bands. So those were your rotator cuff strengthening exercises with a resistive band standing.
Remember there’s some other strengthening exercises of the rotator cuff, the shoulder
in general. You can go check them out at And if you have any questions you can leave
them in the comments section and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible. So
remember, have fun, be safe, and I hope you feel better soon.

100 Replies to “Rotator Cuff Exercises & Stretches with Resistive Bands – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. how long does a shoulder strain usually lasts im guessing 2 months? I hurt my shoulder last month I been doing exercises similar to the ones you are doing in this video with one exercise band my shoulder is getting better im feeling progress its just taking forever should i do the exercises everyday? Or???

  2. My orthopedic doctor showed this video to me when I went to meet him for my shoulder pain. I am going to do it from tomorrow. Or should I do it after the 5 day medication is over. Forgot to ask him.

  3. I have tendinitis(shoulder) since last 2014 April 🙁 I did weights too… and the exercises you're doing… still having issues.

  4. hey Doc, can u hlp me plz? I have pain just below my shoulder blade it is very severe when I work for sitting infront of com…

  5. Hey Doc,
    I have weird shoulder pain; sometimes I feel it in the anterior deltoid, sometimes in the shoulder blade, but it's hard to find specific points or movements that consistently bother me. If I had to apply ice, I wouldn't know where to put it. Also, it's not exactly pain, I can do everything, sleep on the side, even work out, but it's quite annoying. I didn't have any trauma – I suspect it came out after I increased the working sets of overhead press in the gym. What would you recommend (besides seeing my doctor?)

  6. hi doc- got diagnosed for minor rotator cuff injury and have been told to do exercises similar to these. However, i feel a slight burn when i do them. Is this normal? what is the usual time to recovery by doing these exercises and how often? Thanks in advance

  7. Hi. I had a SLAB surgery 1.5 years ago in right shoulder. I play badminton at fairly highly level. Not professional. There is still sharp pain when I use overhead swings. I think surgeon fixed my labrum but not my rotator. I believe I had a grade 1 tear at the rotator and he decided not to fix it. I have been doing tons of excecises and it's very slowly getting a better at some parts, but not overhead swings. That remains same. Any suggestions?

  8. Hi doc I have been doing these type of exercise and stretches to go along with them for one month now for a dislocated shoulder injury. I was wondering if I should up the weight for the exercises now? Also Is there any other exercises to strenghen my shoulder?

    Month#1: Kept arm in a sling
    Month#2: Stretched and Exercised Shoulder everyday
    Month#3: ??? – New exercises or stick with the same old exercises and up the lbs?


  9. You warned me so late about "Controlling the band", I wasn't aware and I LET THE BAND CONTROL ME!
    Now the band is in full control and I'm its slave!

    Hehe, on a serious note, you are pretty and your videos are immensely helpful. Keep up the good work!

  10. Hello Doctor, Im having a slight pain on the shoulder while playing.It happened after doing some of the exercises with these resistive bands..I experienced this pain on the shoulder while badminton coaching Multi-feed (Swinging the racket overhead).There is no pain while im sitting still … but i do feel the pain when i rotate my arms while warm up at a certain point.Docter i need your help.By the way i am a student.Thank you! Regards.

  11. are these exercises ok if I have shoulder stabilization issues and ac degeneration as well as rotator cuff pain? I would like to try some of these but the sports medicine doctor who is treating me has me doing everything on my back.

  12. thank you so much –I have watched zillion video on rotator cuff ,and your beat everyone one of them —you mag it simple workout using resistance bands.–tnx

  13. please help
    i have a type 2 acromion impinging on the supraspinatus tendon
    of my right shoulder
    please tell me abt sm specific exercises to cure this problem

  14. Hi jo I've had shoulder surgery three years ago slap tear five anchors in now shoulder has a lot of clunking popping when. Trying to perform these exercises should I proceed

  15. Yes it's painful but more of an annoying pain than excruitiating kind of feels like the shoulder is out of place a lot of clunking and popping

  16. I'm a cricketer . I can't throw the ball (right) ! for how long I should do this ? and for how long I should rest my shoulder?

  17. doctor
    all your vedioes so great
    but I need to know How to perform exercise to patient

    Not How to perform to my self

    Thanks ❤

  18. Is clicking cracking and popping of shoulder normal …its not painful though!! Your videos are really helpful!! I hope you don't loosen up the hinges of the door ..haha.. Thanks !!

  19. Very helpful with your videos. Thank you so much, Dr. Jo! I've been looking all over online and final found some good tips. I've had my resistance bands for a while. Just never used them for rehab / strengthening treatments. Now I will, thanks to you. As a competitive swimmer & triathlete, I'm having a positive look forward on using your videos to help fix my torn rotator cuff. Thankfully It's a minor tear, and I do not need surgery. But sorry for my long comment. But one last question, how often should I do this per week? Thank you!

  20. I have a rotator cuff tear I have physo every 2 weeks to try and strengthen my tear before I have an operation but I don't want to have the operation because I only have the use of one arm the other arm is paralysed when I had a Stroke 17 years a go and the tear is in my good arm any tips because if I have to have my arm in a sling for 8 weeks it will be like having no arms what do you suggest Cheers Dave

  21. This is amazing. I paid hundreds of euros in fisiotherapy and I still wasn't advised this well. Thank you

  22. Where can I purchase these resistance bands?I love your videos. I have tennis elbow and these exercises will certainly help.

  23. hello dr .. i like this vid it's very good .. so should i do the whole excersise in both vids at one time everyday or there's another way to cut them into days or every other day because i have a rotator cuff tendonitis .. thx

  24. AskDoctorJo you're simply great and amazing, at this point I've solidly watched two consecutive videos and you're so simplicity is shocking because of your detail that you cover with examples and reasoning behind everything and you're so helpful.. wow I'm shocked and amazed, you're a real
    one and great!! thank you(:

  25. Thanks Dr.Jo,quite inspiring.Will do all those exercises coz iam a victim of the Rotator cuff injury.

  26. I have had total reverse shoulder replacement 6 months ago and am suffering serious nerve pain. Sick of the pain and meds needed. Seems to be mainly brachial plexus area, any suggestions?

  27. Hi Dr Jo, am using a pulley for exercise, cant do the bands as it really increases my inflammation. Any suggestions?

  28. This was great. What is the importance of bringing the shoulder blades together? What is it stabilizing? Also, i noticed with your impingement video your ER want past parallel where in this video you advise to go to parallel. Is there some pathological reasoning behind this?

  29. I hurt my right forearm really about a year and a half ago while filling in our pond with about 6  dump truck loads of dirt. I'd  been busy with my wife who had a major medical issue;  & never went to the doctor and figured it might heal on its own; wrong. I struggled all winter long lifting bags of 40 lb. pellets to fill our pellet stove mostly  using my left arm. Then my  left shoulder started to feel it and even pain in my left arm, and was thinking I had CRPS; which ironically is similar to my wife's Central sensitization which developed after a traumatic dental trigeminal nerve injury; and nerve resection surgery  I could barely lift anything heavy for months and  months; even lifting a bottle of water was becoming difficult or reaching in certain driections like reaching for something in the back seat of the car or putting a pullover type shirt on drove the pain through the roof!. So I started watching PT videos on you tube and none of them were much help, a lot of explanations and drawings of bones but not much in the way of good exercises. Then I came across Dr. Jo and what looked like fairly simple exercises without all the medical mumbo jumbo seemed to be the best thing out there. I have to say all the PT videos did nothing but these simple band stretches seem to work best. I'm still only on the yellow band but feeling quite ready for the next color; less pain, sleeping better at night etc; but I'm not sure of the order of the colors. Anyway thanks for the great tips. Look forward to more videos and less injuries! ….

  30. Thank you for the reply
    I am undergoing physio which involves USG massage with anlasgesic gel and at present he is not giving any physical exersices

  31. thankyou so much mam for your reply.
    well should i undergo shoulder mobilization, physical exercises too along with usg massage, as he was of opinion that if we start shoulder mobilzation the tear may still be hurt

  32. so what do you do if your shoulder grinds and rounded shoulders.. i been doing alot more rear delt work..

  33. Great exercises, hope they're going to get rid of my shoulder pains and weakness, will report back in a few weeks to let you know. Doing pool exercises with aqua cuffs as well.

  34. Thanks Doc- this must be THE most comprehensive, simple, effective and workable exercise video I've ever seen. A while back I dislocated my shoulder and did a lot of damage to my rotator cuff and other parts of my shoulder. These simple yet very effective exercises have been a tremendous help. I was advised by a physio to strengthen the area as best I could as it would make surgery more effective when I get to have it and I have noticed results over the last couple of weeks, since I first saw the clip. Thanks again Doctor Jo.

  35. Dr. Jo, I have a special request. Before Aetna refused to authorize more therapy for me, D.Kristina, my therapist, used to end our sessions with her stretching my shoulder. It felt so good – comforting like a baby in his mom's arms. I do the exercises, but I feel tight. Is there one of your wonderful videos to help me? Thank you so much for helping all of us wounded warriors.

  36. love the video i have been to chiropractor they cracked my neck and tried my shoulder buy i don't think it worked. I can move everything muscles fine but if i do strengthening then my arm throbs BAD and if i do nothing i have a slight sting in my shoulder maybe nerve is still pinched or maybe i have to wait longer before trying this? P.S. they told me none of this cracked me charged me and said come back..I think you have the right idea just not sure if i need to return

  37. Thanks Dr. It was so much informative content in the video.
    I met with an Auto accident and since then I have a clicking sound coming out from the right shoulder. I have full range of motion and some pain every now and then. I got even MRI done and it showed that rotator cuff had a tear which causes the sound.
    the question I have is, along with these exercises do you recommend any dietary guidelines?
    I definitely don't want to undergo surgery and wanted to heal the issue with natural treatment.
    Also any nutrition or supplements I should take?
    Any help is appreciated.

  38. This is such a good video, short, super clear, informative, i'm going to try these exercise soon, thank you so much!

  39. Hi Dr Jo, thanks for all your help! 🙂 I'm wondering if there is a reason why we can't wrap the band around our hips/waist, cross it over and pull, for the low/horizontal rotations? Can't find anyone doing it that way, but it seems to hit the right plane of movement…

  40. Hi Doctor Jo , these exercises should help with minor shoulder impingement right?
    I have very slight pain in my left shoulder because I was of shoulder work out I was doing while back pain now but once in a while it hurts little . Thanks

  41. Hi Doc .approximately how long do you think it will take to cure minor impingement ? Do you think minor impingement can be completely healed using these type of exercises?
    Also , if I do chest press with 5 pound dumbbells..would it help to heal or might make impingement worst ? I know chest press uses rotator cuffs but not sure I should do it .
    Thank you very much !!

  42. Hi dr jo I have got supraspinatus tendinitis 5 months back when I was playing tennis. Since then doing cold applications and shoulder strengthening exercises daily . My pain has reduced but not fully. My doctor told me it will take 6 to 9 month to heal. Is it really take so much long time to heal. I want to play tennis again. So when should I start playing tennis?

  43. Thanks Doctor Jo…recovering from rotator cuff surgery and like to change up exercises. I enjoy your videos and they have helped in my lengthy recovery!! Rotator cuff surgery is NO FUN!!

  44. Unfortunately I got AC Joint Sprain at May 2018. I trained Subscapularis with resistive bands. This exercise sometimes cause little pain. I know Subscapularis is very important for AC joint recovery. I think I can perform Shoulder Internal Rotation with resistive bands to train Subscapularis if it just cause me little pain. Can you give me some suggestion? Thank you!

  45. I have been doing this since 4-5 days but the pain doesnt subside… i m unable to diagnose what is the actual issue with my shoulder. It does not let me lift any weight and it pains sometimes….but MRI hasnt revealed anything significant. Please help !!!

  46. 4:54–4:57 is focus on short head bicep, right?
    I want to focus on long head bicep.
    Could you tell me 4:58–5:02 focus on which muscle? long head bicep?
    Could you also tell me 5:04–5:07 focus on which muscle? long head bicep?

  47. I have a partial labrum tear. My ROM is getting better and i want to start training again. I've watched all your shoulder strengthening exercise and I wanted to ask if those would be suitable for me?

  48. Im 8 weeks rotator cuff and bicep repair. I went into the surgery with a frozen shoulder. And i believe i still have frozen shoulder??? Im having pain along the acromium srea and deltoid muscle. My MD says to push myself harder with my home excercises. Which i have been compliant. My ROM is limited and painful especially in the deltoid area. Will your exercises help with ROM? I just got a script for Flexeril I'm hoping that will help.

  49. OK. One question? When u placed the band down and pulled the band upwards , u said to squeeze the shoulder blade but at that moment do u also pull down shoulder blade?

  50. I have been getting bad upper arm/ shoulder pain from sleeping on my side, at the top of my arm just before it meets the shoulder, does that sound like the place of the rotator cuff? It seems like it after looking at diagrams, thanks

  51. Hey Doctor Jo, where do you get those band things from? They look different to the ones you use in your exercise glutes video ( yes i have that problem too) im falling apart! Thanks

  52. I am in a lot of pain with my shoulder, collarbone, shoulder blade and the pain goes up my neck as well as into my chest also my shoulder is frozen. I am in less pain after injections and it lasts for about 6 months. I have been diagnosed with rotator cuff and Bursitis . My question is, would it be better for me to start these exercises around maybe a week  or so after getting the injection? I am thinking I would be able to do the exercises better and with less pain after the injection as I don't do well with pain meds and cant take them, or might I cause more injury to myself. Thank you

  53. Hi doctor Jo thanks for your videos. They are very useful. I recently had an acl resconstruction but m having trouble straightening my leg. Could you please suggest some execised for that. I have pain near medial side of the patella.

  54. Dr. Joe you are such a dork! Because of that I am going to watch all your videos. You also keep it simple and that is also what I appreciates abouts you. Thank you!

  55. Your videos are great Dr. Jo! I am an LMT in Maryland and am working hard to not only deliver great bodywork to my clients but also educate them so that they don't find themselves dealing with injury. I am finding the Rotator Cuff is the most misunderstood concept to most and one of the most injured and surgically repaired of any other part of the body. Amazing how many clients come to me even years after surgery having no idea that the rotator cuff is a group of four muscles not a physiological location in and of itself. Anyway, Thank You for your fun videos and taking the time to educate people! I wished I lived closer and could refer people to you!

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