Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Unilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Upper Back
Target Muscle Group


Shoulders Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Cable External Rotation Overview

The external cable rotation exercise is a great prehab exercise to perform to promote rotator cuff health.

Rotator cuffs are one of the more common injuries, especially as lifters get older. Performing prehab exercises such as external cable rotations can help prevent injury and increase your longevity in the gym.

Cable External Rotation Instructions

  1. Position a cable just above waist height and attach a handle.
  2. Hinge from the elbow and bring the forearm up to 90 degrees while keeping the upper arm tight to the torso.
  3. Externally rotate the shoulder by pulling the handle across your body away from your test while ensuring the hand doesn’t drop.
  4. Slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Cable External Rotation Tips

  1. Don’t worry about the weight, focus on the actual activation of the specific muscle groups.
  2. Ensure the elbow doesn’t leave the torso and the hand doesn’t drop as you complete the movement.
  3. As you externally rotate at the shoulder, ensure the shoulder blade doesn’t move.