As a ball and socket, your shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body. However, that also means it's not as stable as your knees or elbows. But you can help improve your shoulder stability by strengthening the surrounding muscles, including your teres minor and major.
Alongside protecting your shoulder, your teres minor and major muscles work together to help rotate and move your arms in all directions. Learn 3 of the top teres minor and major exercise to help keep your arms and shoulders mobile.
3 Teres Minor and Major Exercises
1. Cable External Rotation
- Attach a handle to the cable station pulley at elbow height.
- Grip the handle with your left hand and stand so the cable machine is on your right-hand side.
- Tuck your left elbow into your left hip and bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle so your palm and forearm are facing inward.
- Without straightening your arm, rotate your shoulder outward to pull the handle away from your body.
- Return to your starting position by tucking your left elbow into your left hip and bending your elbow to a 90-degree angle so your palm and forearm are facing inward.
- Do all reps of internal and external rotation on one arm before switching to the other.
2. Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
- Stand with your feet staggered with your left foot back. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and rest your right hand lightly on your right thigh for support.
- Hinge your hips back and lean your torso forward, back flat.
- Row the right arm up, keeping the elbow at your side and bring the weight up to your abdomen.
- Then, reverse the motion and lower the weight with control.
- Once you finish the left arm, switch sides.
Keep this exercise slow and controlled, getting a full extension of your arm, recommends Carolina Araujo, CPT, a New York-based strength coach. That will help you better activate the little muscles in your shoulder and back, like your teres minor and major.
3. Reverse Dumbbell Fly
- Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Push your hips back behind you and bend your knees slightly as you lean your torso forward with a flat back. Maintain this hip-hinge position throughout the exercise.
- Let the weights hang down toward the floor with your elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other.
- Keeping your shoulders down away from your ears and a slight bend in your elbows, lift the weights out to your sides until they're in line with your shoulders.
- Lower the dumbbells with control.
If you need a little extra stability, you can do the dumbbell fly seated on a bench. Just be sure to keep your back flat and neck long.