Overhead Arm Raise Exercise

TARGETED MUSCLES: Shoulders and arms
WHAT YOU NEED: Weighted objects or hand-held weights

overhead arm raise

This exercise will strengthen your shoulders and arms. It should make swimming and other activities such as lifting and carrying grandchildren easier.

  1. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting in a sturdy, armless chair.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold weights at your sides at shoulder height with palms facing forward. Breathe in slowly.
  4. Slowly breathe out as you raise both arms up over your head keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  5. Hold the position for 1 second.
  6. Breathe in as you slowly lower your arms.
  7. Repeat 10-15 times.
  8. Rest; then repeat 10-15 more times.
Icon: Safety


  • Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle-building exercises, at least at first. After doing these exercises for a few weeks, you will probably not be sore after your workout.
  • To prevent injury, don’t jerk or thrust weights. Use smooth, steady movements.
  • For some exercises, you may want to start alternating arms and work your way up to using both arms at the same time.
  • Breathe out as you lift or push, and breathe in as you relax.
  • Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises. Holding your breath while straining can cause changes in blood pressure. Breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth.
  • Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise, especially if you’ve had hip or back surgery.