Exercises for a torn arm tendon

Updated July 20, 2017

The rotator cuff is a combination of tendons in the shoulder that helps to stabilise and rotate the arm as it is raised and rotated. Many athletes and weightlifters experience problems and injuries of the rotator cuff and biceps due to overexertion and a gradual wear and tear process. Torn tendons in the arm and shoulder are very common. Several exercises can be done without causing pain and injury to strengthen the torn arm tendon.

Range-of-Motion Exercise

This exercise is to help get your arm back into moving comfortable in the range of motion in which it should be able to move. Begin by standing up and leaning over so that you are facing the floor almost bending over. You can have a chair or sturdy peice in front of you for you to rest your uninjured arm on for balance and support. Allow your injured arm to dangle in front of you. Begin to draw small circles with your arm, moving slowly as to not cause pain. Gradually begin to draw bigger circles, expanding your range of motion. Repeat this exercise for five to 10 times daily, stopping if you feel any pain.

Rotator Cuff Strengthening

For this exercise, you will need something elastic such as a resistance band or rubber tubing. Tie one end of your elastic equipment around a door knob and close the door. Stand with your injured arm toward the door, bending your arm at a 90-degree angle. With your injured arm, pull the loose end of the elastic equipment across your stomach so that the door opens. Then, take your arm back across your stomach so the door begins to close. Start with 10 repetitions, and gradually increase as your arm feels stronger.

Upper Extremity Strengthening

With a light free weight in front of you, lie on your side opposite of the injured arm. Lay the forearm of your injured arm across your stomach, bending it at the elbow. Grab the weight with the injured arm, and lift it, raising your forearm and keeping your upper arm close to your side. Repeat this for 10 repetitions to begin.

Biceps Tendon Tears

Biceps tendon tears are a little different from arm tendon tears in the rotator cuff. Your rehabilitation of your arm will initially begin with the use of a brace to assist the arm movement. Once your doctor feels your arm has made enough progression to move on its own, you will begin strengthening and range-of-motion rehabilitation exercises. Biceps curls with very light weights or elastic bands may eventually be added to your regiment.

To do a biceps curl with an elastic band, start by holding one end of the elastic band in the hand of the injured arm. Then, extend the other end across the floor in front of you and stand on it with your feet about shoulder with apart, creating a little tension in the part of the band that your injured arm is holding. Gently wrap the end of the elastic band around your hand a few times for a good grip. Turning your fist upward, slowly pull the band up toward your chest, gently contracting your biceps as your hand moves up. Slowly lower the band back down. Repeat this slowly for 15 to 20 repetitions a day, unless your physician notes otherwise.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Ashley Hindsman is a native Atlantan who has been writing professionally since 2004. She holds several state and national awards for her writing from her college years and was a feature writer for the "Albany Herald." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from Albany State University.