As you’ve probably noticed first-hand by now, shoulder injuries are no walk in the park.
In fact, they’re a downright nuisance – taking a long time to heal, often very painful and just severely limiting…
But what can you do about it other than resting and icing the injury in order to speed up recovery and hopefully diminish recovery time?
Here are just 4 of our favourite rotator cuff exercises to help you get back on your feet and hopefully, back on the tennis court!
1. The Reverse Fly
We can all agree that nobody really likes dumbbells… But this exercise can actually help you recover faster as well as strengthen the muscle to prevent any future injuries.
First, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Then, bend your knees slightly and start to lean forward while keeping your bag straight.
Carry a light weight in each hand and extend your arms slowly away from your body. As you raise your arms outward on each direction, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you do so, but don’t raise your arms above shoulder weight.
Try and do 3 sets of 10 reps, or until exhaustion.
2. Lawn Mower Pull
Still with your feet shoulder-width apart, place the end of a resistance band under your foot opposite to your injured shoulder.
For example, if your right shoulder is injured, place the resistance band under the left foot.
Keep your hand from your uninjured arm firmly on your hip, bend your knees slightly and reach down and pull up the resistance band.
It is essentially the same movement as pulling the starting cord for a lawnmower. Straighten upright while pulling the cord towards you and out past your ribs. As you stand, squeeze your shoulder blades together gently.
Do 3 sets of 10 or until exhaustion.
3. The Doorway Stretch
This simple shoulder injury exercise is one that can be done just about anywhere that has a door!
Stand in an open doorway in the comfort of your own home, and extend your arms out side to side, gripping the sides of the doorway with each hand.
Now, gently and slowly lean forward until you feel a nice stretch.
Be sure to keep your back straight as you lean and put your weight on your toes.
If done correctly, you should feel a nice stretch in your shoulder, but don’t overdo it – just as long as you feel comfortable and no pain. Hold for a few seconds, rest and repeat.
4. Side-Lying External Rotation
This one is one of our favourites, because it can be done while on the couch watching Netflix.
Start by lying down on the floor or on your couch on the opposite side of your injury.
Grab a dumbbell and slowly raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling while keeping your elbow against your side. Let your shoulder do the rotating but do this slowly so as to not incur any pain.
Hold the dumbbell up for a few seconds and then lower it again.
Do this for 3 sets of 10 reps, or until exhaustion.
Armed with this arsenal of exercises, you’ll be able to recover from your shoulder injury faster, and be back on your feet in no time at all!