13 Best Teres Minor Exercises That Can Help Provide Shoulder Joint Stability

Teres minor exercises can train and target the teres minor, and help your shoulders to function properly. Doing these exercises regularly as part of your fitness training can help improve your overhead throwing motions and your ability to rotate your arms easily.

woman doing the dumbbell row exercise

Teres minor exercises can train and target the teres minor, an important muscle in your shoulders, and help it to function properly.

The Teres major and the Teres minor are both highly crucial muscles. These are important for developing strength. Together with the latissimus dorsi, the Teres minor and major muscles work to provide throwing power.

The Teres minor is concerned with the arm’s lateral rotation in contrast to the Teres major muscle.

But specifically targeting the Teres minor muscle with exercises is not easy. It’s so small yet crucial that you can’t target it with your regular exercise regime. Instead, you need to know the correct teres minor exercises. These teres minor exercises can help you to target and develop the teres minor muscles.

To help you improve your overhead throwing motions and develop the ability to rotate your arms easily, I’ve compiled a list of the top teres minor exercises for you to do at home. Doing these teres minor exercises regularly can help with your posture and help reduce shoulder injuries and pain.

What are teres minor exercises?

Teres minor is the name of a muscle that lies beneath the infraspinatus. It works in conjunction with the Teres major to help rotate the shoulders. It also contributes to throwing power.

Key benefits of teres minor exercises:

  • Increases range of motion of the shoulders.
  • Provide upward scapular rotation.
  • Better humoral elevation.
  • Increases stamina while throwing.

Muscles Worked: Teres minor.

Top teres minor exercises to improve throwing capabilities and arm rotation

You need the teres minor for external arm rotation and for overhead throwing activities.

Below are some of the best teres minor exercises that can help you target and train the muscle for a healthy lifestyle.

Dumbbell Pullovers

dumbbell pullover teres minor exercises

Dumbbell pullovers are some of the best Teres minor exercises you can perform at home. You’ll need a single dumbbell of a suitable weight for this exercise. You can also swap it out for another type of free weight. But it should be something you can grab with both hands.
Level: Intermediate.

Equipment Required: Dumbbell, Flat workbench, or another flat surface.

Steps to follow:

  • Pick up a dumbbell and grab it so that both your hands are underneath the dumbbell’s weight.
  • Now, lie down on the flat bench or any other flat surface and keep your head right on the edge.
  • Bring the dumbbell above your chest and raise it above your head. Your arms should be almost fully extended, with only the elbows slightly bent.
  • Now, lower the dumbbell while keeping your elbows tucked and your arms straight. You should only bend your elbows.
  • Keep lowering the weight until it’s right behind your head. Then, bring it back up to its starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Inverted Row

inverted row teres minor exercises

The inverted row is a great alternative to the regular row for working out the teres minor muscle. You can do this teres minor exercise with a dip bar or on any low-hanging bar or sturdy surface. Just make sure it does not fall.

Level: Intermediate.
Equipment Required: dip bar

Steps to follow:

  • Slide under the dip bar and grab it. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and your elbows should be fully extended. Your feet should be fully extended in front of you.
  • Now, pull yourself into the bar by engaging your shoulder blades. Pull yourself until your chest hits the bar.
  • Then, lower yourself gradually back to your starting position and repeat 10-12 reps.

Underhand Yates Row

yates inverted row alternative

The Yates row is a modified form of the regular bent-over row, and it is one of the best Teres minor pain exercises.

It primarily targets your back and shoulders muscles, including the Teres minor.

The Yates row teres minor exercises requires a barbell. But you are not obliged to put weights on the barbell. You can even use a heavy rod without weights if you don’t have a barbell at home.

Level: Expert.
Equipment Required: Barbell.

Steps to follow:

  • Grab the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep an underhand grip, meaning your palms should be facing upward.
  • Stand upright with your knees slightly bent.
  • Hinge your torso forward such that your body forms a 60-degree angle with the ground.
  • Now, extend your arms in front of you so that the barbell lies in front of your midriff.
  • Then, bring the barbell close to your midriff by pulling it in. Make sure that your elbows remain tucked at your sides.
  • Gradually lower the barbell back to its starting position and repeat 10-12 reps.



Pull-ups are ideal for working out your teres minor and Teres major muscles.

The exercise is the best for a full-body workout, and it’s easy to perform at home. But make sure you invest in a proper pull-up bar or power tower that won’t break and injure you, and for your safety.

Level: Beginner.
Equipment Required: Pull up the bar or power tower.

Steps to follow:

  • Stand underneath the bar and jump up to grab it. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, and you should have an overhand grip. This means that your palms should be facing down.
  • Gradually pull yourself up so that your chin touches the bar.
  • Lower yourself back to the starting position but do not hang off the bar.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.


chin up

The chin-ups are much like the pull-ups, except they are done with an underhand grip (palms facing you). The chin-ups teres minor exercises engage the same muscles. Some may find that they are easier than pull-ups.

Level: Beginner.
Equipment Required: Pull up the bar or power tower.

Steps to follow:

  • Grab onto the pull-up bar with both hands, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Ensure that you have an underhand grip (your palm should be facing toward you).
  • Now, gradually pull yourself up until your chin just about touches the pull-up bar.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then lower yourself back to your starting position. But do not let go entirely and hang from the bar.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

single arm dumbbell row

Single-arm dumbbell rows are great teres minor exercises and are also good for bodybuilding. It develops your muscles independently, leading to more bulk and strength. For this, you’ll need a flat bench or any other flat surface that is at the same level as your knees.

Level: Beginner.
Equipment Required: Dumbbell, A flat workout bench, or another flat surface.

Steps to follow:

  • Get on the bench and rest your left knee on the bench. Keep the right leg extended behind you. Your left hand should be on the bench, and your right hand should be grabbing a dumbbell. Your back should be perfectly straight and hinged at the torso.
  • Keeping your right hand fully extended, pull your elbow in. In this way, the dumbbell will come right below your chest. Keep your elbow tucked into the side of your chest and your upper arm parallel to the ground.
  • Now, lower the dumbbell to be back to its starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps, then switch hands and repeat.

Dumbbell Reverse Fly

Reverse Fly

This exercise is harder to do than the others, but it develops massive gains. It’s ideal for developing the teres minor and strengthening your throwing power. You might need assistance initially, so it’s better to start with a lighter weight.

Level: Intermediate.
Equipment Required: Dumbbells.

Steps to follow:

  • Grab two dumbbells (one in each hand) and stand upright.
  • Hinge forward at your torso and bend your knees slightly for balance.
  • With the dumbbell below you in your arms fully extended, pull your arms outward. In this way, your arms will be in line with your shoulders and parallel to the ground.
  • Now, lower the dumbbells to their starting position and repeat 10-12 reps.

Band Pull Aparts

pull apart with resistance band

Resistance bands provide a comprehensive range of motion and more flexibility, not to mention that they’re quite versatile. The band pulls apart are very effective teres major and teres minor exercises. They work like the dumbbell reverse fly. But you use resistance bands for the exercise. Like all other teres minor exercises listed here, they develop muscles in your shoulders as well as your chest.

Level: Intermediate.
Equipment Required: Resistance band.

Steps to follow:

  • Stand upright with your feet at least shoulder-width apart.
  • Grab the resistance band with both hands and keep your hands fully extended in front of you.
  • With your arms out in front of your chest, pull the arms back so that they’re in line with your shoulders. Your arms should remain fully extended throughout.
  • Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat 10-12 reps.

Resistance Band Horizontal Rotation

The resistance band horizontal rotation works out both the teres minor and the teres major muscles. In addition, the exercise increases throwing power by working out multiple muscles in the shoulder.

Level: Intermediate.
Equipment Required: Resistance band.

Steps to follow:

  • Find an anchor point for your resistance band and secure it there. Make sure the anchor is at the same level as your waist or belly.
  • Now, grab onto the resistance band with only one hand and take a few steps back.
  • With the band in your hands, raise your hands such that your elbow is at a right angle. Your palms should be facing down in this position.
  • Now, gradually rotate the upper arm until your forearm is parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your hand and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Dumbbell Cuban Press

This compound exercise targets many muscle groups, including the Teres minor and major. You can do it easily at home but it requires two dumbbells. You can also use other free weights, but the shape of the dumbbells makes it the easiest.

Level: Beginner.
Equipment Required: Dumbbells, flat weight bench

Steps to follow:

  • Pick up the dumbbells and raise your elbows to make them parallel to the floor. Your dumbbells should be in front of you in this position, and your elbows should be in line with your shoulder.
  • Flip the dumbbells, so they sit by either side of your head, and your elbows are in the same position.
  • Now, push the weights up toward the ceiling so that your arms are fully extended.
  • Now, bring the weights back down until they are back to how they were before. Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

dumbbell bent over T bar row alternative

Bent-over dumbbell rows are one of the most effective teres minor exercises. They specifically target the teres minor muscles. The only gym equipment you need are a pair of dumbbells of appropriate size

Level: Intermediate.
Equipment Required: Dumbbells.

Steps to follow:

  • Start with your legs shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand so that your palms face each other.
  • Hinge at the torso and bend over to form a 45-degree angle.
  • Exhale and raise the dumbbells to be on the sides of your chest. Keep them parallel to the shoulders.
  • Now, lower the dumbbells gradually to return to their starting position. Remember to inhale but stay bent over.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Pendlay Row

pendlay row t bar row alternative exercises

The Pendlay row is named after Glen Pendlay, the weightlifting coach. It’s one of the best exercises for Teres minor and the Teres major.

Level: Expert.
Equipment Required: Barbell or any weighted rod.

Steps to follow:

  • Place the barbell onto the floor and stand up straight. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Have a slight bend in your knees.
  • Now, hinge forward at the hips, so your torso is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Pick up the barbell with an overhand grip, keeping your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the bar into your midriff so that it touches your belly and keep your elbows bent.
  • Now, lower the bar back to its starting position and repeat 10-12 reps.

Banded Rows

seated row with resistance band

The banded rows are just like regular rows, but they use a resistance band. Resistance bands help engage more of your muscles, and they can be easily adjusted at home too. Banded rows provide for a better range of motion and more flexibility.

Level: Beginner.
Equipment Required: Resistance band.

Steps to follow:

  • Sit down with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Hold the resistance band and wrap it around your feet to act as anchors.
  • Keep your back and neck straight, and your elbows tucked.
  • Pull the resistance band with both hands and keep pulling till your hands are right below your chest.
  • Gradually release the resistance band.
  • For10-12 reps.


What exercises work the Teres minor?

The best exercises to work the teres minor are the dumbbell pullovers. This exercise targets the teres minor specifically and is also a great shoulder exercise in general. But, you need dumbbells for the exercise.

What exercises use the teres minor?

The best exercise to use the teres minor is the inverted row. It works like a regular row but is more efficient and easier. And, even though you need dip bars or a pull-up bar for the exercise, you can do without them. A low surface that is sturdy, like a chair or a table can be a good substitute

What exercises will enlarge the teres minor?

One of the best exercises to enlarge the teres minor is the banded row. The reason why people prefer a banded row over a regular row is that it’s more effective. Resistance bands provide more flexibility. Plus, they’re easier to buy and store in your home than barbells or free weights. And, the teres minor exercises target the teres major and other key shoulder and back muscles as well.

  1. American Council on Exercise (ACE).  5 Benefits of Dumbbell Training
  2. National Academy of Sports Medicine. Three awesome row exercise variations.
  3. ACE Technique Series: Chin-ups.
  4. May T, Garmel GM. Rotator Cuff Injury. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
  5. International Sports Sciences Association. Alternating dumbbell shoulder press — seated.
  6. Reinold MM, Escamilla R, Wilk KE. Current Concepts in the Scientific and Clinical Rationale Behind Exercises for Glenohumeral and Scapulothoracic Musculature. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2009;39(2):105-117. doi:10.2519/jospt.2009.2835

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