Boost Shoulder Mobility with Effective External Rotation Exercises

Jan 2, 2024


Welcome to IAOM-US, your trusted source for expert advice and professional guidance in Health & Medical, Chiropractors and Physical Therapy. In this article, we will delve into the topic of "how to externally rotate your shoulder" and provide you with comprehensive information and effective exercises to boost your shoulder mobility. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge to improve your shoulder health and enhance your overall well-being.

Understanding Shoulder Rotation

Shoulder rotation is a vital component of overall shoulder mobility. External rotation refers to the movement of the humerus bone away from the midline of the body. It plays a crucial role in various activities such as reaching, throwing, and even simple daily tasks like picking up objects. A lack of external rotation can lead to shoulder pain, limited range of motion, and functional limitations.

Effective Exercises for External Shoulder Rotation

1. Standing External Rotation with Resistance Band

This exercise specifically targets the external rotators of the shoulder and is highly effective in improving mobility and strength.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a resistance band with both hands.
  2. Bend your elbows and keep them close to your body, with your forearms parallel to the ground.
  3. Rotate your arms outward against the resistance of the band, ensuring controlled and smooth movements.
  4. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions, gradually increasing the resistance as your strength improves.

2. Tabletop External Rotation

This exercise helps activate the external rotators of the shoulder and can be done using a table or any sturdy surface.

  1. Place your forearm on a table, with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and your palm facing down.
  2. While keeping your forearm stationary, rotate your entire arm outward, lifting the back of your hand off the table.
  3. Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hand back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions on each arm, focusing on controlled and precise movements.

3. Prone External Rotation

This exercise targets the posterior shoulder muscles and helps strengthen the external rotators.

  1. Lie on your stomach on a mat or a comfortable surface, with your arms extended in front of you.
  2. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, with your forearms parallel to the ground.
  3. Keeping your elbows bent, rotate your arms outward and lift your forearms off the ground.
  4. Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your forearms back down.
  5. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form.

Tips for Optimal Results

While performing the exercises mentioned above, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Start with lighter resistance or bodyweight, gradually progressing to higher resistance to avoid injury.
  • Maintain proper form and avoid jerky or sudden movements.
  • Perform exercises in a controlled manner, focusing on the targeted muscles.
  • Allow for adequate rest and recovery between exercise sessions to prevent overuse injuries.
  • Consult a healthcare professional or a qualified physical therapist for personalized guidance and support.


Incorporating external rotation exercises into your shoulder mobility routine can significantly improve your overall shoulder health and enhance your quality of life. The exercises outlined in this article, when performed correctly and consistently, can help you achieve better shoulder mobility, alleviate pain, and prevent future injuries. Remember to always listen to your body and seek professional guidance if you experience any discomfort or have specific medical conditions.

At IAOM-US, we are committed to providing you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on improving Health & Medical, Chiropractors and Physical Therapy. Take control of your shoulder health today!

how to externally rotate shoulder