Product Review: The Rotater for Shoulder Rehab and Prehab
The Rotater is a device designed to help you with stretching and strengthening your shoulder rotation. Internal and external rotation are very important to the proper functioning of your shoulder joint, yet the average individual has limited mobility, especially men. Women tend to have greater issues with shoulder stability and strength.
The Rotater gives you options to address both of these. It works on the principle of aligning your shoulder correctly first, and then either stretching or strengthening. The base model allows for stretching. For strengthening you must add the Strong Arm attachment to your cart, for an additional $11.95.
The Rotater is advertised as being for shoulder rehab, prehab, and performance. Let’s look at what I discovered the Rotater is useful for and what realistic expectations you should have for this product.
Internal and External Rotation
The Rotater is surprisingly effectively for helping you to stretch both the internal and external rotation of your shoulder. For normal range of motion you should have 80-100 degrees of external rotation, along with 60-70 degrees of internal rotation. If you are limited here, the advantage of the Rotater is it can help you achieve a safe stretch.
When stretching your shoulders for rotation it is critically important that you are not torqueing the joint and stretching in a compromised position. This is covered in the DVD that is included with the product. Keeping the shoulder back and down, and only rotating allows for a safe stretch of the appropriate musculature and not other ligaments and tendons.
The Strong Arm attachment is designed to let you strengthen your rotator cuff using the same piece of equipment. The Rotater is built with multiple attachment points to mount the Strong Arm for a variety of strengthening exercises. If you are looking for a strengthening piece of equipment I would recommend buying a few pieces of rubber tubing instead (buy multiple resistances so you can have progression). Sixty dollars is expensive for just a strengthening piece of equipment.
Also the Rotater is not the sturdiest piece of equipment I’ve ever seen. The lack of sturdiness lends it to be tough to help stretch a larger individual. I weigh 190lbs at 6’1” and it worked very well. One of my CrossFit members who weighs 280lbs tried to use it for stretching and it was fairly ineffective.
The DVD that comes with the Rotater contains some great information on how to use the product but also great information on the shoulder joint. It has diagrams and explanations of how your shoulder works and the proper way to stretch. The Rotater also allows you to stretch and strengthen in a variety of directions. The strengthening work would be great for a post-rehabilitation setting.
In conclusion this is an awesome product for stretching, and also for strengthening for rehab. I would not recommend The Rotater for performance strengthening or for very large individuals. The Rotater also has a rock solid money back guarantee with no questions asked, so if you’re on the fence it’s fairly risk free.
The Rotator is available for $59.97 at TheRotater.com.