How to Improve Shoulder External Rotation - IAOM US

Dec 17, 2023


Welcome to IAOM US, your trusted source for health, medical, chiropractors, and physical therapy services. In this article, we will discuss effective techniques and exercises to improve shoulder external rotation. Whether you are an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or facing shoulder mobility issues, our comprehensive guide will help you achieve better shoulder function and range of motion.

The Importance of Shoulder External Rotation

Shoulder external rotation refers to the movement of rotating your arm away from the centerline of your body. It is a crucial motion for various daily activities and sports, including throwing, swimming, and weightlifting. Insufficient external rotation can limit your performance and increase the risk of injuries, such as shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tears.

Techniques to Improve Shoulder External Rotation

1. Stretching Exercises

Proper stretching exercises play a vital role in improving shoulder external rotation. Perform these stretches after a thorough warm-up and consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to ensure correct form and technique:

  • Doorway Stretch: Stand next to a doorway, place your forearm and hand against the doorframe at shoulder height. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Internal Rotation Stretch: Stand with your back to a wall, shoulder blades and buttocks touching the wall. Bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle and place your forearm against the wall. Slowly rotate your body away from the wall until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Cross-Body Stretch: Stand up straight and bring your arm across your body, using your other arm to gently pull it closer to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

2. Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening the muscles involved in shoulder external rotation can enhance stability and improve your overall range of motion. Incorporate these exercises into your workout routine:

  • External Rotation with Resistance Band: Attach a resistance band to a stable anchor, grasp the band with one hand, and stand with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your elbow close to your body, rotate your forearm away from your body against the resistance. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on both sides.
  • Prone External Rotation: Lie face down on a flat surface, holding a light dumbbell or weight plate in one hand. With your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, lift the weight away from your body, focusing on the rotation motion. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions on each side.
  • Shoulder External Rotation Isometric Hold: Sit on a chair with your forearm resting on a table and your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Place a small towel or pillow between your forearm and the table. Push your forearm into the towel or pillow for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each side.

Professional Assistance

While these exercises can be beneficial for many individuals, it's important to recognize that every person's situation is unique. If you're experiencing chronic pain, limited mobility, or a previous shoulder injury, it's highly recommended to seek professional assistance from a qualified chiropractor or physical therapist. They can evaluate your specific condition and customize a treatment plan that suits your needs.


Improving shoulder external rotation is crucial for optimizing your performance, preventing injuries, and maintaining overall shoulder health. By incorporating regular stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can achieve significant improvements in your shoulder mobility and function.

At IAOM US, we specialize in providing top-notch healthcare services, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and more. Our experienced professionals are dedicated to helping you reach your wellness goals.

Take the necessary steps today to enhance your shoulder external rotation and improve your overall quality of life. Contact IAOM US to schedule an appointment and begin your journey towards optimal shoulder health.

how to improve shoulder external rotation