Top 3 Rotator Cuff Exercises

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Top 3 Rotator Cuff Exercises

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Asking the 3 top exercises for the Rotator Cuff can be a bit of a loaded question.  For one thing there are 4 different muscles which make up the Rotator Cuff (the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, and the Subscapularis).  Another factor is which stage of strength/conditioning the patient is at.  Most people will need to start at a lower level with more basic exercises.  Also, different authors show slightly different results on EMG testing.  Because of this we are going to pick 3 good “core” exercises for the RC.


  • Sidelying ER - shows high activation of the Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Supraspinatus in studies measuring EMG activity.

                                   Begin with 3 sets of 10 repetitions

  • Prone 90’s (T’s) - shows high activation of the Infraspinatus and Teres Minor in studies measuring EMG activity.

                                    Begin with 3 sets of 10 repetitions

  • Prone 120’s (Y’s) - shows high activation of the Supraspinatus as well as other scapular stabilizing muscles in studies measuring EMG activity.

                                    Begin with 3 sets of 10 repetitions


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