Scarecrow Rotation


Scarecrow Rotation – Rotator Cuff Exercise

(Dumbbell Upright Shoulder External Rotation)

The muscles of the rotator cuff are vital in stabilizing shoulder movement, especially in sports that involve trowing. This exercise works your rotator cuff and helps prevent injury. You can perform scarecrow rotation standing or sitting on a regular flat bench, unilaterally (one arm at a time) or using both arms simultaneously. Also, this exercise can easily be performed using the cable pulley machine instead of dumbbells.

Scarecrow Rotation Exercise Guide

STARTING (INITIAL) POSITION: Stand upright holding a light dumbbell on either side of your lower chest, with your forearms pointing straight down and your upper arms out to the sides yet slightly lower than parallel to the floor (your body looks like the letter “T”). Your feet are shoulder width apart.

Scarecrow Rotation Exercise Guide

Scarecrow Rotation Exercise Guide

MOVEMENT (EXERCISE EXECUTION): Rotate your upper arms back so the weights arc upward as high as possible. Keep your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in the same position. Pause for a moment, then return to the starting position.

Scarecrow Rotation – Tips & Key Points

  • Make sure you do not turn or lift your shoulders in an attempt to get more rotation from the movement.
  • Keeping your upper arms entirely motionless, slowly pivot your forearms upwards to a vertical position.
  • Keep you upper arms shoulder high and parallel to the floor throughout the movement.
  • Your elbows should be bent about 90 degrees.


  • Go from the other starting position in which your upper arms are parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your body. Then rotate your upper arms back so the weights arc upward as high as possible.
Scarecrow Rotation

Scarecrow Rotation

  • Cable Scarecrow Rotation. Stand facing a low pulley and grip the handle in one hand. Raise your elbow to the side in line with your shoulder.
Cable Scarecrow Rotation

Cable Scarecrow Rotation

  • Prone Scarecrow Rotation. Support your body on an incline bench at the angle of 45 degrees and pivot your forearms, as described in the main exercise.
Prone Scarecrow Rotation

Prone Scarecrow Rotation

  • Cuban Rotation Exercise. Start with your upper arms raised out to your sides until they’re parallel to the ground and in line with your shoulders. The bar should be positioned directly in front of your lower sternum. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and the wrists straight and firm throughout. Rotate the bar toward your forehead but stop just shy of vertical at the top of the movement. This will ensure that you maintain tension on the muscle at all times. Keep your elbows and upper arms as still as possible during the movement. Use dumbbells if even an unloaded barbell seems to be too heavy for you.
Cuban Rotation Exercise

Cuban Rotation Exercise

Target Muscles:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Supraspinatus
  • Teres major
  • Teres minor
  • Subscapularis

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