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External Shoulder Rotation

External Shoulder Rotation

External shoulder rotation is a resistance training exercise to strengthen the external shoulder rotators, enhance synergy of the neuromuscular system and improve muscular endurance of the rotator cuff musculature.

The external shoulder rotations are an essential exercise for every tennis player, regardless of skill level, because you can use it to avoid shoulder pain in the future.

It may not be a bad idea to implement this exercise into your dynamic stretch routine.

On the one hand, you are warming up your shoulder for high intensity shots. On the other hand you can also strengthen the tiny rotator cuff muscles on a regular basis.

All you need is a resistance band and you are good to go! Alternatively, you can also use a cable machine/pulley in the gym to perform the external shoulder rotation.

This way you can control the action better and you maintain equal tension throughout the full range of motion. That is beneficial if you want to work on improving muscle mass.

External Shoulder Rotation Progression

If you use additional weights…make sure you use appropriate resistance so you can control the action throughout the entire range of motion. Otherwise you defeat the purpose of the exercise.

Very often, people use too much resistance and they become sloppy. Especially when it comes to maintaining core stability repetitively.

Also, don’t just progress with adding more weight. First, maximize the speed while maintaining perfect form.

If that’s still too easy alternate with single leg action.

Here are the progression levels:

  1. Beginner: athletic stance
  2. Advanced: lunge position
  3. Professional: alternate one leg stance

External Shoulder Rotation Description

external shoulder rotation
© by Phil Halfmann – all rights reserved
  1. Fasten elastic band (to a pole) at hip level
  2. Stand up in athletic position; feet underneath shoulders, knees are slightly flexed
  3. Hold the elastic band with the hand farthest away from the pole, flex the elbow, and keep it close to the hip/trunk; hand is in front of the umbilicus (belly button)
  4. Rotate at the elbow pulling the elastic band at hip level away from the body, thereby moving the hand away from the body, without moving the elbow away from the trunk/hip

Targeted Musculature

  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor

Infraspinatus muscle back2

Teres minor muscle back3

More Resistance Training Exercises

Integrity of the shoulder joint is very important for tennis players to produce powerful shots while minimizing the risk for injuries.

If you are looking for more resistance training exercises for the shoulder then take a look at a few exercise suggestions for you:

lateral raises with rotation
Lateral Raises with Rotation
Horizontal Abducted Internal Shoulder Rotation
Horizontal Abducted Internal Shoulder Rotation
Internal Shoulder Rotation
Internal Shoulder Rotation

We also have 5 easy rotator cuff exercises to strengthen the shoulder.

Shoulder Warm Ups For You

Now, once you are finished playing tennis you may want to stretch out your muscles to improve flexibility and avoid injuries.

Here are a few exercises for you to consider:

Shoulder Stretch for Internal Rotators
Shoulder Stretch for Internal Rotators
Posterior Deltoid Stretch
Rotator Cuff Stretch
Rotator Cuff Stretch