Best Exercises For Your Supraspinatus

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Rotator cuff muscles | Dr Ken Nakamura Best Toronto Chiropractor

Did your physiotherapist diagnose you with a supraspinatus muscle strain?

Want to know the best way to strengthen your supraspinatus muscle?

The supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles.[1] The supraspinatus’ job is to stabilize the glenohumeral joint. When the supraspinatus isn’t working properly you become prone to impingement of the shoulder. If you have rotator cuff pain click 7 most important exercises for rotator cuff pain

Research from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that the supraspinatus was activated selectively with less activation of other muscles when the shoulder is in external rotation.[2] All the exercises below activated the supraspinatus equally.

If you have a winging scapula see this article.

Supraspinatus Exercises

1 Full can (external rotation)

Full Can | Best Toronto Chiropractor : Dr Ken Nakamura
Standing with a weight in your hand. Hold the weight at a 45 degree in front of you with your thumbs up.
This can be an isometric exercise is you simply hold the weight or you can make it more dynamic by going up and down. Do 3 sets of 10.

2. Empty Can

Empty can | Best Toronto Chiropractor : Dr Ken Nakamura
Standing with a weight in your hand. Hold the weight at a 45 degree in front of you with your thumbs down. This can be an isometric exercise is you simply hold the weight or you can make it more dynamic by going up and down. Do 3 sets of 10.

3. Prone Elevation (external rotation)

Prone Full Can | Best Toronto Chiropractor : Dr Ken Nakamura

Lying face down with your arm out at a 45 degree angle to you with your thumbs up. This can be an isometric exercise is you simply hold the weight or you can make it more dynamic by going up and down. Do 3 sets of 10.

4. Standing External Rotation

Pendant External Rotation | Best Toronto Chiropractor : Dr Ken Nakamura

Standing with your elbow at waist height bent at 90 degrees like the picture. Externally rotate your hand outwards using your elbow as the pivot point like a door hinge. Do 3 sets of 10.

5. Prone External Rotation

Prone External Rotation For Supraspinatus | Best Toronto Chiropractor : Dr Ken Nakamura

Lying face down with your arm by your side with elbow bent. Hold the weight with your palm down. This can be an isometric exercise is you simply hold the weight or you can make it more dynamic by going up and down. Do 3 sets of 10.

Photo Credits

  1. Cover Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
  2. Full can. Research Reviews Database. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.
  3. Empty can. Research Reviews Database. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.
  4. Prone Elevation. Research Reviews Database. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.
  5. Standing External Rotation. Research Reviews Database. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.
  6. Prone External Rotation. Research Reviews Database. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.

Research

  1. Holtby R, Razmjou H. Validity of the supraspinatus test as a single clinical test in diagnosing patients with rotator cuff pathology. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2004;34(4):194–200.
  2. Boettcher CE, Ginn KA, & Cathers I. Which is the Optimal Exercise to Strengthen the Supraspinatus? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009; 41(11): 1979-1983.

Author

Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

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