Avoid These Worst Rotator Cuff Tear Exercises

Avoid These Worst Rotator Cuff Tear Exercises

Avoid These Worst Rotator Cuff Tear Exercises

The rotator cuff tear is a common injury among athletes, especially those involved in sports that require repetitive overhead motions. With a proper diagnosis and treatment, it can heal effectively. However, inappropriate exercises can worsen the condition and cause severe pain. To prevent damages from worsening, it is essential to avoid certain exercises that put too much strain on the shoulder. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the worst rotator cuff tear exercises you should avoid.


Military Press

The military press is an exercise that involves lifting weights over your head. It is a common exercise performed in the gym to build shoulders and arms. However, it puts significant stress on your shoulders and rotator cuff, making it an unfavorable exercise for those with existing injuries. Instead, focus on exercises that work on your triceps, such as push-ups.

Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldowns, a strength training exercise, helps in improving posture and strengthening your back muscles. However, it involves pulling heavy weights behind your head, adding stress to your shoulders. It's best to avoid this exercise until the problem is rectified.

Bench Press

The bench press is another exercise that requires lifting weights, and it can be tempting to test your limits to build a stronger chest. However, it puts an unnecessary strain on your shoulders and may lead to severe injuries. Instead, opt for chest exercises that stabilize your shoulder muscles, such as chest flies.


Pull-ups are otherwise an excellent exercise for strengthening your upper body, but it can be harmful to individuals with rotator cuff injuries. While performing it, your shoulders experience a full range of motion, putting significant stress on the shoulder joints. Consider alternate exercises such as plank taps and rope pulls, which work effectively and are rotator cuff-friendly.

Behind-the-Head Barbell Press

This exercise involves lifting weights over your head with the barbell behind your head, increasing the pressure on your rotator cuff muscles. It is best to avoid this exercise to prevent straining or damaging your rotator cuff. Instead, choose exercises like single-arm military press that are good for working the delts and maintaining overall shoulder health.



Avoiding the worst rotator cuff exercises is a key component when dealing with a rotator cuff tear. While it may seem challenging to input these changes for gym enthusiasts or personal trainers, it is essential to stay on the healthy track as a person's health should be the utmost priority. If you're experiencing shoulder discomfort and suspect a rotator cuff tear, it’s highly advisable to consult a professional. Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute provides the best orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs, FL, who provides a wide range of treatments for rotator cuff injuries. Contact Central Florida Bone and Joint today to schedule an appointment to learn more about the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery process.