Band External Rotation

Band External Rotation

Band external rotation is a bilateral exercise that strengthens the rotator cuff muscles, particularly the infraspinatus and teres minor. By holding a resistance band in front of your body and rotating both arms outward at the same time, this movement improves strength and flexibility in the external rotators. It provides stability for the shoulder joints and helps prevent injury during activities involving overhead movements.

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can significantly benefit from band external rotation, as it reinforces movement patterns crucial for sports like baseball, tennis, swimming, and weightlifting. It’s also useful for individuals recovering from shoulder injuries or those needing to correct muscle imbalances due to repetitive pushing motions.

Regularly practicing this exercise will strengthen the rotator cuff, improve shoulder stability, and enhance movement patterns for athletic performance and injury prevention.

Equipment Needed:

Light resistance band

band external rotation Instructions:

  1. Standing or seated hold a resistance band with palms up and elbows at your side just off of your ribcage
  2. Engaging your shoulders first begin to pull the band apart while keeping your elbows in the same position
  3. Hold for a 2+ count
  4. Return to the starting position

Common Errors:

Elbow position is very important. Many people flare their arms out as they pull the band apart. Others will press the elbow against the ribs to maintain the position. Neither is ideal. To fix this, place a rolled towel or small pad between your elbow and ribs, don’t let the towel fall during the exercise.

Progressions / Regressions:

If this is too challenging:

  • Use a lighter resistance band or grip the band slightly further apart
  • Try isometric external rotation if you have a hard time pulling on the band. Instead of moving through a full range of motion pull out firmly against the band but don’t move, just engage your shoulder muscles. Hold for 2 – 5 seconds and relax. You can also do this exercise one side at a time against a wall or door frame.

If you want more of a challenge:

  • Increase the resistance by doubling up on the same band, gripping closer together, or using a harder band.
  • Hold the end position for longer and focus on going slowly back to the starting position (eccentric/negative)


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