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Shoulder Exercises: Shoulder Press

This exercise stretches and strengthens your shoulders. Before starting, read through all the instructions. Ask your physical therapist to show you how to do the exercise, if needed. During the exercise, breathe normally and use smooth movements. Stop if you feel any pain. If pain persists, call your healthcare provider.

  • Hold a ____ pound weight in each hand. Raise your elbows to shoulder level, palms facing forward, with your arms to the side and slightly forward. Ask your physical therapist how much weight to use.

  • Raise one arm up until it’s almost straight. Hold for a second. Lower the weight, extending the other arm up.

  • Repeat ____ times with each arm. Do ____ sets ____ times a day.

Man holding hand weights with one elbow at shoulder level, palms forward. Other arm is raised.


If you have shoulder problems, talk with your healthcare provider before doing this exercise. Keep your head and body still during the exercise. Only your arms should move.

Online Medical Reviewer: Ross Brakeville DPT
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 9/1/2022
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