Shoulder Exercises: External RotationMan lying on side with head supported by pillows. Hand is grasping hand weight  with elbow bent and weight against stomach. Rolled-up towel is under elbow. Ghosting shows man lifting hand weight up with elbow remaining in place.

Strengthening exercises help make your injured shoulder more stable. To warm up, do flexibility (stretching) exercises first. Your healthcare provider will tell you what size hand weights to use for the strengthening exercise below. If you don’t have hand weights, try using cans of soup instead.

  • Lie on your uninjured side with your head supported by a pillow or your arm. Place a small rolled-up towel under your top elbow.

  • Grasp a hand weight with your top hand and bend that arm to a right angle, resting your forearm against your stomach.

  • Keeping your elbow against the towel, slowly lift the weight until your forearm is slightly higher than your elbow. Return to the starting position. Repeat.

  • Work up to 5–15 lifts.