Rotated Floor Angels

Rotated Floor Angels are a simple, quick way to restore pain-free range of motion in your shoulders, especially if your rotator cuff is playing up.

These are one of the exercises I used to return my dodgy swimmer shoulders to full health and they're still a "go to" exercise whenever my rotator cuff plays up or I feel that I don't have the range of movement in my shoulders that I should have.

It's simple, quick, requires no specialised equipment and can be done anywhere you have access to a piece of open floor.

The idea is to combine core activation, range of movement around the shoulder girdle and in the shoulder and thoracic spine mobility in one simple exercise. I've certainly found rotated floor angels extremely effective for countering a tendency for my shoulders to get "locked up".

The key points of focus are...

  • Top hip bent to at least 90º - limits arching of the lower back.
  • Maintain pressure on the basketball with the top knee throughout. If you lose pressure, you've found the limits of your range go movement.
  • Elbow remains in contact with the floor throughout.
  • Both shoulders remain in contact with the floor throughout.
  • Hand remains in contact with the floor, except when moving from internal to external rotation.
  • If you cannot breathe at any point in the movement, that's a restriction in your range of movement. You should be able to breathe in and out naturally throughout the movement.
  • If neck position is uncomfortable, feel free to use a cushion, pad or yoga block to elevate the head slightly.

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Will Newton


In over twenty years of coaching, I have coached everyone from absolute beginners to world champions. My interest in getting the best results for athletes who compete for the love of the sport, rather than as professionals, drives me to find the most effective ways to get results. My mission is simple: Be in better shape at 70 than most people are at 20, and to help you do the same.

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