Seated External Dumbbell Rotation

Seated external dumbbell rotation is a rotator cuff exercise that works your infraspinatus and teres minor and uses a dumbbell to help you build stability in your shoulder.

This is a rotator cuff exercise often performed incorrectly at the gym (People stand with their elbows bent at 90 degrees and try rotating their arms).

Rotator cuff exercises provide your shoulder with the stability it needs to push, pull, and throw things.

Find more exercises like this in the exercise guide.

Seated External Dumbbell Rotation

Here's how to perform Seated External Dumbbell Rotation:

  • Start with a very light dumbbell that you can control dumbbell as far down as you feel comfortable.
  • Take a seat on the floor or a bench and bend your knee to give you a place to rest your elbow.
  • Grab your dumbbell and bend your elbow to about 90 degrees, placing it on top of your knee with your wrist straight, directly under the dumbbell.
    • You may need to move your elbow around to find a spot on your knee that allows you to roll back and forth over the top of it.
  • Keeping your forearm and wrist as straight as possible, slowly internally rotate your dumbbell down toward the inside of your leg.
  • You should feel the muscles in the back of your shoulder working.
  • Be sure to keep your shoulder from rolling forward.
  • When you have gone as far down as you can under control, pause and reverse the movement back to the start.

Perform 10-15 reps on each side.

In addition to building external rotation strength, this exercise can help improve your internal rotation range of motion due to the controlled eccentric or lowering phase.

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