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More Exercises

The following exercises can be added to your routine after you are comfortable doing the Stage 3 exercises:

Abdominal Curl

show me an animated exampleThe abdominal muscles provide bracing and stability to the trunk. Strengthening this group of muscles can help your posture.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head, elbows pointing out.
  3. Slowly raise your shoulders and upper back off of the floor to the count of two.
  4. Pause. Slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor to the count of two.
  5. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set.

Make sure you:

  • Breathe during the movement. Try to exhale as you raise and inhale as you lower.
  • Don't pull on your head or neck with your hands.
  • Keep your chin lifted toward the ceiling and elbows pointed out throughout the exercise.

Chest Press

show me an exampleThis exercise targets the muscles of the chest and shoulders.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level, about shoulder width apart. Your elbows should be bent and your palms should face your knees.
  3. Slowly straighten your arms toward the ceiling, directly above your chest to a count of two.
  4. Pause. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to your chest, to a count of four.
  5. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set.

Make sure you:

  • Raise the dumbbells directly above your chest. Don't let your arms move toward your head or your waist as you lift.

Lunge

show me an exampleThe lunge strengthens the muscles of the upper leg and hips.

  1. Stand next to a counter or sturdy chair with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold the counter or chair with your right hand for balance.
  2. Take a large step forward with your right foot.
  3. Bend your right knee and lower your hips toward the floor. Make sure that your right knee stays above your right ankle as you lower.
  4. Push against the floor with your right foot to raise yourself up and step back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times with your right leg for one set.
  6. Rest for one to two minutes. Then repeat with your left leg.

Make sure you:

  • Don't allow your front knee to move forward past your toes.
  • Keep your upper body straight and erect during the exercise. Don't lean forward or backward.
  • Try to lower your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. If that's too difficult, just lower as far as you can.

Upright Row

show me an exampleThis exercise strengthens upper arms and upper back muscles.

  1. Stand with feet about hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs.
  3. Bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells in front of your body, to the count of two, until they are at shoulder height. Raise your elbows slightly higher than the dumbbells
  4. Pause. Lower the dumbbells, to the count of four, to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes, then complete a second set.

Make sure you:

  • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.

Gaining Grip Strength

show me an exampleIf you have arthritis, you may have trouble picking up things with your hands or keeping a grip on them. Some of the exercises in this program will help strengthen your hand muscles. If you're concerned about grip strength, you may also want to add a grip exercise to increase strength and decrease stiffness in your hands. The exercise is simple; it can be done easily while reading or watching TV, and most people already have the equipment at home.

Equipment: Racquetball, tennis ball, or "stress" ball.
Time: Less than 5 minutes.
Exercise: Grasp a ball in one hand while sitting or standing. Slowly squeeze it as hard as you an and hold the squeeze for three to five seconds. Slowly release the squeeze. Take a short rest, then repeat the exercise 10 times. Switch hands, and do two sets of 10 squeezes with the other hand.
Frequency: You may do this exercise every day or every other day, depending on how your hands feel. If they feel stiff or painful, you may want to skip a day.

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