Technique for the PROGRESSIVE SUPINE PRESS Exercise:
by lying on your back, grasping a washcloth or cane with both hands together
(see A). Push the cloth or cane straight up toward the ceiling. At the end of
each push, lift your entire shoulder off the bed or floor. When you can do this
20 times easily, separate your hands an inch or so when you push the cloth or
cane toward the ceiling (see B). This places slightly more of the load on the
muscles of your weaker shoulder. As the exercise gets easier, separate your
hands more on the washcloth or cane until you can push your hand toward the
ceiling without any assistance from the opposite arm. Practice this exercise
with nothing in your hand until you are able to repeat it 20 times.
Then, take an empty
pint container and perform the same movement, pushing it toward the ceiling (see
C). Add water to the container gradually to increase the weight of the
container. When the container if full of water, the weight is about 1 pound.
Make sure that with each "press-up" you end by lifting your shoulder
blade off the bed or floor. We call this the "press plus".
Be sure that you can
perform the movement comfortably 20 times at each stage before advancing to the
When you can
press-up I pound toward the ceiling 20 times, the next step is to perform the
exercise with your back propped up slightly on pillows or by using a recliner or
lawn chair (see D). When 20 comfortable repetitions can be performed, increase
the amount that your back is propped up. At each level, push the shoulder all
the way off the surface: the "press plus". Continue this process until
you are in a sitting position and can push the 1 pound weight 20 times toward
Finally do this exercise
in a standing position with the 1 pound weight for 20 repetitions (see E). Work
for smooth, slow, controlled motions. This program optimizes the mechanics of
your shoulder and gives you the best chance of regaining good function.