Exercise of the Month – Full Squat to Overhead Press

Full Squat to Overhead Press

This is a full body workout and can be done with or without the weight to make it easier or more challenging.

Squats are always great for building and maintaining muscle mass in the lower body. This exercise is helpful throughout cancer treatment, including during chemo and hormonal therapies that might otherwise deplete muscle mass. The overhead movement helps with shoulder function and range of motion. Adding weight helps with increasing strength in the shoulders and arms. Be sure to progress with weights very slowly. The overhead movement also helps to strengthen the core, including back and abdominal muscles.

Try to do two sets of ten repetitions when you begin and gradually build up to two sets of 15-20 repetitions.






  1. Start: Feet are in neutral alignment, shoulder-width apart. Knees have a slight bend, arms are relaxed with a weight in each hand.
  2. Push hips back and down as you lower into a squat position. Hands (holding weights) should slide down legs. Shoulders should be relaxed. Pretend you are sitting back in a chair that is getting pulled away from you.
  3. As you stand back up, squeeze your glutes (they are what you sit on!) and do a small pelvic tilt. Hands and weights come back to neutral.
  4. Take weights into a military press position and extend up and over your head. If you want to add a challenge, bend one knee lifting foot off the ground.
  5. Last step: return to standing position!

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