Rotator Cuff Injury Physical Therapy

By Steve Silverman

The rotator cuff is a series of four small muscles that allows the shoulder to make all of its movements. It is crucial to maintain the rotator cuff in order to maintain a competent golf swing. An injury to one or more of the muscles can severely hinder movement and a tear can result in an inability to make even the simplest moves. Several exercises can be done to strengthen the rotator cuff in order to avoid injury to the area.


Swimming is one of the top exercises and therapies for an injured shoulder. By practicing the freestyle arm stroke, your shoulders will meet the natural resistance of the water without having to face the strain of lifting heavy weights. Swim one length of the pool (25 yards) and take a 30-second break before swimming back the other way. Do this routine at least four times before you leave the pool if you want to help your shoulder and rotator cuff muscles.

Shoulder Shrugs

Hold two 5-pound weights in each hand. Allow the weights to hang down by your thighs. Shrug your shoulders up and hold the shrug for two seconds. Allow your arms to return to the starting position. Do this 10 times, take a 30-second break and repeat the set.

Bent over Lateral Raise

Sit in a chair and hold 5-pound weights in each hand. Bend forward at the waist until your upper body is nearly parallel to the ground. Pull your arms up until they are parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position. Do this exercise 10 times, take a 30-second break, and then repeat the set.

Shoulder Twists

Stand in the middle of the room. Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height. Rotate your shoulders, so your right arm is in front of the center of your body, while your left arm has rotated to the rear and center portion of your body. Do this 10 times, and then reverse directions, so your left arm is in front of your body. Do this 10 times as well. Take a 30-second break and repeat the set.

Bench Press with Broom

The bench press is an excellent movement to strengthen the rotator cuff. If you have injured the rotator cuff, do not do this exercise with heavy weights. Instead, do this with a broom. Lie down on the floor or an exercise bench, and hold the broom at chest height. Press up with your arms and lock out the elbows. Return the broom to the starting position. Do this 15 times, take a 30-second break, and then repeat the set.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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