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Rockwood Shoulder Exercises

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
Rockwood Shoulder Exercises
Woman working with resistance band in gym. Photo Credit LuckyBusiness/iStock/Getty Images


Rockwood shoulder exercises describe a protocol used to treat shoulder subluxation. Shoulder subluxation is a term used to describe a partial dislocation of the shoulder joint. This creates a temporary instability in the joint. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend Rockwood exercises using a resistance band or tubing to treat this condition.

Shoulder Seated Row

The shoulder seated row exercise uses a band to target your rear deltoids, or shoulders, and back muscles. You can do this exercise sitting on a stability ball, or, if one is not available, you can substitute a stool. A ball, however, works better for strengthening your core. To perform this exercise, wrap the end of the band around a post, have a friend hold it or use a door attachment to secure it in a door frame. Sit on the ball facing the band and grasp an end of the band in each hand at a distance that the band is taut with your arms straight in front of you. Then, bend your elbows and pull your arms back toward your armpits. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Sit up tall as you row your arms back. Straighten your arms again to complete a seated shoulder row.

Shoulder Internal Rotation

Internal rotation of the shoulder joint involves bringing your arm from an outwardly rotated position back toward the centerline of your body. Resistance from a band is used as you rotate your shoulder to strengthen your muscles and ligaments. To perform the shoulder internal rotation exercise, secure a band at waist level to a door or pole and stand sideways to the object with your left shoulder closest to it. Hold both ends of the band taut in your left hand with the palm facing forward. The arm is bent at 90 degrees with the elbow touching your side. A rolled-up towel my be squeezed between your bicep and side to keep your arm in the right position. Begin with your left arm open to your left side and pointing toward the object to which the band is attached. Then, rotate your arm toward your stomach and keep your wrist straight to pull on the band. Open your arm to the side to complete an internal rotation. Repeat on the other side or just work the injured shoulder.

Shoulder External Rotation

The external rotation exercise is the opposite of the internal rotation. The arm moves from an internally rotated position across your stomach, out toward your side. To perform this exercise, assume the position described above for the internal rotation exercise with the band in your left hand. Then, reach across your stomach and grab the handles with your right hand in the same bent-elbow position and let go with your left hand. Rotate your right arm outwards and to your right side as far as you can. Keep the wrist straight and your elbow touching your side. Bring your arm back across your stomach to complete one rep. Repeat on the other side if you wish.

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