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Shoulder Internal Rotation (Strength)

This shows the exercise for your right shoulder. Switch sides for your left shoulder.

  1. Put a hand weight on the floor. Your healthcare provider will tell you what size hand weight to use. Usually start with about 1- to 2-pound weights.

  2. Lie on the floor on your side. Keep your upper arm extended on your side. Support your head and neck with a pillow or small folded towel to keep your neck and spine straight.

  3. With your hand closest to the floor, hold the hand weight and let your arm rest on the floor at a right angle. This is your starting position.

  4. Slowly raise the hand weight toward your chest, keeping your elbow bent at a right angle the entire time.

  5. Slowly lower the hand weight back to the starting position on the floor. Keep your elbow bent at a right angle.

  6. Repeat this exercise 8 to 10 times for 2 sets, or as instructed. As you get stronger, repeat the exercise 5 times for 3 sets. As the exercise becomes easier, add weight, 1 pound at a time up to 5 pounds, and start again with 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.

Man lying on side doing internal rotation shoulder exercise with hand weight.


Keep your body still while you raise the weight. Don't roll back.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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