Do this quick, simple and effective exercise to help increase your overall shoulder mobility and strength. 

Improving the mobility of your shoulders is yet another significant step towards taking back full control of your body’s movement. 

Remember yourself as a child — climbing trees and tumbling around in the garden with all our natural born dexterity. But regular modern day activities like sitting over a computer keyboard, curling up in bed, and handling a steering wheel all lead to our shoulders becoming stiffer and much less mobile. 

This quick and easy side lying internal shoulder rotation exercise is a powerful little stretch that boosts your shoulder mobility, all the while building up resistance against rotator cuff injuries. 

If you’re a weight lifter, AFL athlete, beginner gymnast, calisthenics enthusiast, or even a golfer looking to generate more power in your swing, add this exercise to your warm up routine. 

How to improve Internal Shoulder Rotation.

The one-minute video tutorial takes you through this exercise in a detailed fashion, but check out these notes too to make sure you’re doing it as well as you can:

  1. Find a head support. This shouldn’t be too high as you want to keep your spine level. An exercise or yoga block is ideal, but even a firm pillow will do the trick. 
  2. Lay on your side. Bring your knees out in front of you to a comfortable angle. Around 60° from your body should be optimum.
  3. We’ll work the arm that’s closest to the floor.  Keeping this shoulder and elbow in contact on the floor, bend the elbow to 90° i.e. point your lower arm to the ceiling. 
  4. Still keeping your shoulder and elbow in contact with the ground, bring your elbow down until it’s approximately level with your chest. 
  5. Rotate the forearm down towards the hip, then grip this forearm with your top arm.  
  6. Contraction One: Place downward pressure on the bottom arm with the top. Try to rotate the bottom arm back up against this downward pressure. Begin gently, and gradually build up to maximum effort. 
  7. Contraction Two: This time, rotate the bottom arm downwards and resist with your top arm. Again, begin gently and build up gradually to full force.  
  8. Now lay on your other side, and repeat both contractions on that side. 

At A Glance: The Benefits of the Internal Shoulder Rotation Exercise

  • Increased range of motion in your shoulders

The shoulder joint is one of the least stable joints in the body, thanks to lifestyle more than anything. Improving the range of motion in the joint helps relieve the stress it tends to come under. It helps fight stiffness and soreness post-exercise by not allowing it to become so inflamed. 

  • Stronger, More Stable Rotator Cuffs

With the increased range of motion mentioned above, this internal shoulder rotation allows you to build the muscles around your rotator cuff i.e. the “sleeve” of muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. 

  • Injury Prevention

Internal Shoulder Rotation exercises build up your resistance to overload, and this of course, prevents injury. It also makes them less susceptible not just to impact and traumatic injuries, but to long term conditions like tendonitis and bursitis, which are both caused by joint inflammation. 

  • Better Physical Performance

It’s a benefit of any exercise really, but it does bear repeating. With stronger, healthier joints and muscles, better range of motion, and less chance of injury comes an ability to perform better, for longer. Ultimately, that allows for more movement, and more movement equals more fun!

A Final Word

Normally, we’d go through some tips here on what to do if you can’t do this exercise, but this is a very simple one that anyone can do. Actually, the internal shoulder rotation exercise is something that everyone should do! 

At Falsegrip, we’re all about helping people take back control of their bodies. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t moved in a decade, or if you’re a high performance athlete, you can still make progress. The internal shoulder rotation exercise might not look like the most dramatic or dynamic exercise in the world, but it’ll help set you up for a healthier active life.