Shoulder Rehab Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Overhead Press

Shoulder rehab exercises for seniors and the elderly, like the overhead press, will help stabilize and strengthen your upper back and arms. This will greatly assist in your ability to reach overhead when putting away plates or stuffing your grand children’s toys high in the closet!

Lifting your arm overhead requires a lot of strength and coordination from your arms, shoulder and back. The overhead press is probably the most demanding exercise an older adult can do with their arms.

Take it slowly at first. Start with either no weight or a one pound or less weight. Try to do 8 repetitions at first. Increase to 8 to 12 repetitions as your strength improves.

Purpose of this exercise

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

Step 1

Starting with feet shoulder width apart, weights in hand at chest level, palms forward.


Step 2

Raise arms overhead straight up and out together. Lower arms to starting position and repeat 10 times.



Inhale during the upward movement phase. Exhale during the downward movement phase.


Try this sitting down if your back is stressed. Keep your chest high. Don’t arch your back.

Take it up a notch

Try this exercise standing with one foot in front of the other. Lunge forward with one foot when lifting the weight up. Push up to the right and left with a waist twist.

How to do Overhead Press

How to do Overhead Press

More 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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