The teres minor is one of four muscles which make up the rotator cuff and its function is to stabilize the humerus when the shoulder moves for lateral rotation. Now, lateral rotation is necessary for overhead pressing movements and exercises like side dumbbell lateral raises so it’s important to have a strong teres minor.
The dumbbell Cuban rotation really targets the lateral rotators and helps prevent too much internal shoulder rotation which is dangerous for the joints. A proper balance of internal and external rotation in the muscle is essential for safely performing upper body exercises and it also helps improve posture significantly.
In This Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Teres Minor
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Dumbbell
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Stand and hold a dumbbell in one hand.
- Bend your knees and keep your back then slightly bend down similar to a barbell row position.
- Raise your elbow to about shoulder height.
- Rotate your arm upward until the dumbbell is head level with external shoulder rotation.
- Slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
- Repeat with the opposite arm.
Variations & Tips
- You can perform the dumbbell Cuban rotation with two arms at a time and/or alternate for repetitions.
- You can also use cable or small weight plates to perform the exercise.
- The dumbbell Cuban rotation works several rotator cuff muscles as well which includes infraspinatus, and supraspinatus.
- Don’t go heavy on this movement to prevent shoulder injury since the muscle is small.