Prone Arm Press

The difficulty performing the prone arm press exercise lies in maintaining trunk and elbow position, as there’s a strong tendency to arch your back (which places extra stress on your spine) as well as allow the elbows/dumbbells to drift out of position.

This exercise targets your upper back, shoulders, rotator cuff, neck and trunk muscles.

Maintain position of your trunk, head, wrists and elbows during the exercise to facilitate muscle activation and joint protection. Further, pretend you’re holding a barbell in your hands so that the dumbbells stay parallel to the ground.

If you’ve had a shoulder or neck injury, this is a highly advanced exercise that shouldn’t be performed until later in physical therapy.

Starting Position

Lie down with your knees bent so as to protect your back. Pull your shoulder blades back but do not arch your back. Next, pull your belly inward away from your pant line. Set the dumbbells so they are parallel to the ground (i.e., wrists straight) and your chin is barely off the ground.


While maintaining trunk/head position, move your hands/elbows alongs the floor to a point where the elbows are even with your ears and then back down again. Keeping the elbows close the floor while keeping the hands off the floor is difficult!

Repeat as directed by your physical therapist.

Schedule an Evaluation

We strongly recommend that you do not attempt to perform any of our exercises without formal training from our physical therapists so as to avoid potential injury. The exercises shown have specific purpose and yield benefits when performed in conjunction with a complete therapy program that is customized to each patient. The only way this can be initiated is through an initial evaluation.

Call c.h. Physical Therapy at

(503) 601-9000


Portland Physical Therapy

Please Don't Leave!

It's time to Move in the Right Direction. Experience physical therapy that is truly life-changing.


I'm ready!
Get evaluated by a physical therapist
No thanks,
I think I'll be alright.