Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I had a question
on Facebook from Anita. She wanted to know how can she get more motion in her shoulder
to be able to wash her back and get her hand behind her back. This is called internal rotation.
So I’m gonna show you some stretches for internal rotation today. Let’s get going. Okay, so
I rolled up my sleeve so you can see my bulging biceps. Just kidding, so you can see arm and
what it’s doing. So the first one for internal rotation, this is probably the easiest one,
so this is the one you probably want to start off with. Get your arm at about a 90 degree
angle, and then a 90 degree angle at your elbow. You just want to bring it down towards
the floor. Now if you’re really tight, you might only be able to get to here. Hold it
for about 30 seconds, and then come back up. Some people are gonna go further than that,
but the key is to make sure the shoulder doesn’t come up. If you arch up like that, you’re
taking away from the stretch. So even if you have to push your upper body down a little
bit so you don’t get that movement. This is the internal rotation part. Holding it there,
and then coming back up. If that’s too easy for you, then you can roll over onto your
side. So once you get onto your side, it’s gonna be the same motion except this time
you’re gonna give yourself some pressure for that internal rotation. So you’re just gonna
push down this way, not to pain, but just to tension. Hold it for about 30 seconds.
If you want to come up just a little bit, you can do that as well. Hold it there for
30 seconds, relax, and do that 3 times in a row. If that becomes easy, I’ve got one
more stretch that will actually help get behind your back. For the last stretch, take a towel
or maybe a belt, something that’s sturdy and strong. Put it in the good arm, and throw
it behind your back. With your bad arm, grab it behind you underneath. I’m gonna turn around,
so with your good arm, start pulling upwards to stretch the this arm. Now starting off,
you might only be able to get down to here. Eventually you want to pull as far as you
can. Hold for 30 seconds, come back down, and do that 3 times working your way up. Those
were the 3 stretches to increase your shoulder internal rotation. If you have any questions,
leave them in the comments section. If you would like to see some more videos, go to Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Remember be safe,
have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

47 Replies to “Shoulder Internal Rotation Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. @AskDoctorJo

    My phone notifies me when a channel I'm subscribed to uploads 🙂 considering it was a video by you, I was extra fast. 😉

  2. hey Doc I was doing over head shoulder and some how my shoulder bent due to imbalance that was caused by heavy dumbbell. I have pain in my shoulder what do you suggest. thank you

  3. Where is the pain? Front, back, side? Deep, sharp, achy? Probably some gentle rotator cuff exercises would help. I have some videos for that if you want to check them out! Good luck!

  4. I have a question. I was preacher curling 50 pound dumbbell.
    After that I feel a mild pain in my lower bicep. Should I stretch the bicep, rest it? I can still lift with it but it feels like a strain.

  5. I have been having general radiating shoulder pain in both shoulders from squatting (high bar, bar sits on trap muscles). Multiple trainers have suggested I work on shoulder mobility.

    Will these exercises help my issue?

  6. hi,doc Jo, i have a question, when i rotate my arm i can always hear a popping sound from my shoulder joint ,when i rotate to some postion i can even feel  two bones are grinding against each other in my shoulder joint.could it be a little bit dislocation of my shoulder joint or?  but it doesn't hurt and nothing else. are these stretches gonna relief the popping sound.

  7. HI Doctor Jo
    I enjoy your therapeutic exercises.  thank you!  question about my shoulder.  I have over the years had problems with my right shoulder.  I mostly feel it when I do anything that reaches back and up toward my shoulder blades.  I used to have much  more flexibility.  i feel somehow the pain has begun to radiate down to my inner wrist…thumb and first finger, though i do not feel anything per say in the arm.  is this related?  any exercises to get the nerve/muscle more aligned?  IS it coming perhaps from the neck?

    (I am x-calssical dancer and have a strong you practice)
    thank you!

  8. Is this not a stretch for the external rotators? To stretch the internal rotators should we not bring it to where internal rotation muscles are as lengthened as possible (ie the opposite direction)? Are they not in a shortened position in your demonstration? I am a bit confused about this. I appreciate help so that I can figure this out =)

  9. Hi Doctor Joe, great video, I'm just wondering if you have any other variations of these kinds of stretchs, I have severe shoulder impingement of the bicep tendon in my right shoulder and cannot do strechs like the sleeper of towel stretch without getting an impingement pain and worsening the condition, but I also need more internal rotation as its too tight and it will help the impingement, any advice would be great, thank you.

  10. Hello Doctor Jo! First of all I wanted to say thank you for posting all these videos they really do help improving a lot of the shoulder internal mobility. I, for one, didn't even know that i had bad mobility and that it might have caused some pain and/ or impingement, and I definitely feel a great improvement in range of motion and general stability; I also do the exercises you mention in the rotator cuff strengthening video and they really complete the whole therapeutic picture. So, what exactly is it stretched in the shoulder when doing the lying on the back internal rotation stretch and the lying on the shoulder internal shoulder rotation stretch??? Is it the shoulder capsule itself? Or maybe the long head of the bicep and subscapularis? P.S. I really enjoy watching your videos, they're very fun and energetic and inspire a lot of positivity and you seem like a really fun person to be around 😀 . For all of you wondering if Doctor Joe knows what she is talking about, I can tell you that I definitely have felt vast improvements in mobility, range of motion, stability and also posture, so yes it's extremely helpful advice. However, all this being said, do yourselves a favour and go to the doctor to get your shoulder checked out, don't just ignore the discomfort and go on youtube! Thanks a lot again!

  11. THANK YOU. Thumbs up! You nailed my problem and pain, internal rotation. The first stretch was easy. The second stretch on my side was much more challenging. Some pain. Went as far as I could, palm about 8" from the floor. I will be doing that one daily. I want this shoulder to heal and get strong. When the shoulder is perfect and healed, is the object to get the palm to the floor? I can reach behind my back and grasp my fingers. I am flexible but this internal rotation hurts and needs work. Any other links you can give me? You have so many. I do your channel daily. I can't express my gratitude to you enough. I am a lucky lady to have found you. Hugs!

  12. Dr. Jo, I have been having shoulder and scapula pain with internal rotation. I was doing the exercise at 1:31 and did a not so smart move of over pushing the hand to the floor. Now I have pain in the pectoral muscle, scapula and the HOLLOW area by the neck/collar bone. (where you place a tennis ball). I have been taking epsom salt baths, ice and an herbal poultice of Comfrey. I could use your help at how to help heal and get back to strengthening my shoulder. How long should I rest it. My shoulder WAS doing better with all your therapy videos and now a set back. I have learned the hard way…do not push too hard.

  13. Dr Jo Will These Exercises Help Me To Rotate My Arm Completely So That I Can throw a ball at fast speed while rotating my arm ? ( just like the bowler's do in cricket )

  14. Hello I have a question in that position at 2:26 how can I get my hands touch each other from both sides of the shoulder. I just started doing it by standing up but I feel like there might be other ways increase flexibility.

  15. ok i have a question DrJo i threw my A.C joint about 3 years ago and i still get pains in my shoulder when i walk, run,anything physical why is that?

  16. hi Dr Jo, when I did the first stretch move, I could only internally rotate slightly pass 90 degrees before I get this sharp pain inside the front of my shoulder. I also get that pain when I try to reach my back as you demonstrate in the beginning about washing your back. how can we fix this? thank you.

  17. i believe i have an internal rotation and if i have minimum pain, do i need surgery? and what is the injury called if my pain is positive for the exercises?

  18. Hi DrJo, If If I have pain in my shoulder when doing internal rotation or if my right shoulder doesn't internally rotate when I extend my arm out parallel to my body, are these exercises going to fix my shoulder?

  19. When I do these exercises , may the elbow was hurt by these exercise? Or can I just push on my elbow or the upper arm not on my


  20. Hi dr. Jo. Trying to understand when is internal rotation useful to focus on in exercise. I was taking an exercise program (athleanx beaxst) and the trainer there always seemed to focus on exercises involving external rotation when dealing w the shoulder, such as face pulls. Is internal rotation limited to not using any significant weight or something? Any good learning material you could refer me to?

  21. Thank you SO MUCH! I’m having an awful time with left arm and shoulder and I can barely get my bra hooked anymore! This is helping so much!

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