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12 Best Shoulder Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Build strength. ​improve stability.

Hi, I'm Doug Schrift - otherwise known as "Your Senior Fitness Coach" - and I’ve spent years guiding the fitness of thousands of seniors as a Physical Therapist, even if they have never exercised before. Sign up below to my email list to receive my FREE 4 Week Senior Fitness Program

I created Eldergym® to help YOU! If you are looking for one of the best FREE online resources for senior and elderly shoulder strengthening exercises, you found it!
shoulder exercises
Strength training shoulder exercises for seniors and the elderly  can have a significant and lasting effect on your independence as we age.

Upper body and shoulder exercises can not only improve function in older adults, it can actually reverse some of the muscle loss and deterioration associated with aging.

Strength is the ability to exert force. Lifting weights is one of the oldest and time honored way to not only increase our strength, but quantify our strength.

Strength training will positively affect our neural control, muscle size, fiber arrangement and muscle length.

The free weight upper body and shoulder exercises below have the advantage of simulating real life situations of lifting.

They will promote bone mineralization, help prevent osteoporosis and stabilize your supporting muscles.

Pick 3 or 4  exercises from the list below. Watch the videos and try to perform the exercises as best you can. Then perform a new set of 3 or 4 of the exercises below next week.

Work your way through the exercises until you complete all 12. You should begin to feel stronger, more flexible and better able to accomplish tasks at home.

Watch These Exercise Videos – Upper Body Strengthening

1. Bicep Curls

  • Strengthens the upper part of your arm with elbow exercises.
  • Will make lifting activities easier.

2. Overhead Elbow Extension

  • Strengthens your upper arm muscles with this arm workout.
  • Improves your ability to lift your arms above your shoulders when reaching high to a shelf.

3. Triceps Kickbacks

  • Strengthening and toning arm workouts.
  • Improves your ability to rise from a chair.
  • Makes reaching to a high shelf easier.

4. Diagonal Inward Shoulder Raise

  • Build the strength in your upper arm and back with arm training.
  • Increase the mobility of your shoulder for better arm swing while walking.
  • Add to your ability to reach overhead.

5.Diagonal Outward Shoulder Raise

  • Strengthens the upper arm, back and shoulders with arm toning.
  • Improves your shoulder mobility.
  • Increases your ability to comfortably reach overhead.

6. Shoulder Rolls

  • Improves the mobility with shoulder shrug.
  • Stabilizes your shoulder blades for heavier lifting.

7. Overhead Press

  • Improve the ability to safely reach overhead
  • Stabilizes the back muscles shoulder rehab exercises.
  • Increases the mobility of the shoulder joint.

8. Shoulder Press Lying Down

  • Improve the mobility of your shoulder and chest with shoulder rehabilitation exercises.
  • Increase your strength when reaching forward or lifting with two hands.

9. Upright Rows

  • Increase the strength in your upper arms and back with upper arm exercises.
  • Improve your ability to lift heavier objects around the house.
  • Assist in the mobility of your shoulder and elbow joints.

10. Bent Over Rows

  • Strengthens your upper arm and back with shoulder workout.
  • Improves your ability to pull and lift.
  • Increase shoulder range of motion.

11. Side Shoulder Raises

  • Strengthen your upper arms, shoulders and chest with these best shoulder exercises.
  • Improve your daily activities like opening doors or pushing a shopping cart.

12. Elbow Side Extensions

  • Help strengthen your upper arm and shoulders with shoulder muscle workout.
  • Improve your ability to grip and pull as in opening a stuck refrigerator, moving a chair to vacuum, or opening a sliding glass door.

Make sure you download my FREE 4 week Senior Exercise Program ebook to get more help

  • Mary Ann A Kestner says:

    Can I buy the book

    • Douglas Schrift says:

      The ebook is provided free for download only. It is not available in printed form. The ebook is “alive” because you are able to click on videos and navigate through the pages. This would not be possible in printed form. You can alternately print it at an office supply store. You can print your ebook yourself or send it to an office supply store. Here is the instructions for STAPLES:
      1. Save the ebook to your computer.
      2. Email the ebook pdf as an attachment to staples@printme.com and expect a confirmation email.
      3. Go to Staples.
      4. Enter or scan your 8-digit confirmation barcode from your email and start printing.

  • Storyline says:

    Approximately how much weight in each of the dumbells would be good to aspire to when proficient in these exercises ?

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Women can start with one or two pound hand weights to start. As your strength improves and you are able to lift the weight more than 12 to 18 times, move up another pound. For example, you are performing 2 pound bicep curls with your right hand in a seated position and are able to curl 18 repetitions, and find it difficult to do more. I would then try a 3 pound weight the next exercise session.
      Men can start with 5 pounds and apply the same guidelines about increasing the weight.

  • Muhammad Sher Shah says:

    i suffer from frozen shoulder. please, show me physio therapeutic exercises for it.

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