12 Best Shoulder Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly


Upper Body Strength Training

Strength training shoulder exercises for seniors and the elderly  can have a significant and lasting effect on your independence as we age.

When we build up our arm, upper back, and shoulder strength, we improve the ability to reach overhead to that high cupboard, lift our grandchildren up to our chest, and perform our activities of daily living with greater ease.

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.

To improve your upper body strength, including your back, shoulders, and arms, try these exercises 3 times a week. 

Remember that is takes our body 4 weeks just to get used to exercising, so start slowly and gradually build your strength and endurance. 

Women can start with 1 or 2 pound weights and men can start with 2 to 3 pounds to start.

You will be on your way to enjoying a bike ride with the grandchildren in no time at all! 

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.

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