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Shoulder Shrug For Seniors and the Elderly

Shoulder Shrugs

The shoulder shrug exercise for seniors and the elderly, similar to the shoulder roll exercise below, will help strengthen your neck and upper back muscles.

Improving the strength of your shoulder blades is important when lifting larger things like a suitcase off the ground. This exercise targets your scapula which is the triangle bone in the back of your shoulder.

Some call this your shoulder blade. This structure is referred to as the pedestal of your arm. When your scapula moves, your arm moves also. This is the reason to maintain a strong scapula so as to have a more functional and strong arm. Give them a try!

Purpose of this exercise

Improves the mobility of your shoulders. Stabilizes your shoulder blades for heavier lifting.

Step 1

Stand or sit with weights in hands, arms at side. Feet are shoulder width apart.


Step 2

Raise shoulders upward toward ears, backward and down. Return to the starting position and repeat 15 – 20 times.



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


Exhale as you bring your shoulders up and back. Lift your ribcage and slightly flex your knees. Tuck in your chin.

Try to keep your elbows fully extended and only move from the shoulders. Shrug shoulders as high as possible.

Take it up a notch

Try this shoulder shrug exercise standing to increase your balance. Stand with one foot in front of the other. Use a heavier weight when you can perform more than 20 repetitions. Switch to an elastic band.

How to do Shoulder Shrugs

How to do Shoulder Shrugs

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.