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Stage 2

When you've been doing the exercises from Stage 1 for at least two weeks, OR if you are fairly fit right now, you can add these Stage 2 exercises. When you've been doing the exercises from Stages 1 and 2 for at least six weeks, you can add the exercises in Stage 3. Remember to always do the Warmup and Cooldown as part of each exercise session.

Biceps Curl

show me an exampleDoes a gallon of milk feel a lot heavier than it used to? After a few weeks of doing the biceps curl, lifting that eight-pound jug will seem a cinch!

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand stand, or sit in an armless chair, with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, and palms facing your thighs.
  2. To a count of two, slowly lift up the weights so that your forearms rotate and palms face in toward your shoulders, while keeping your upper arms and elbows close to your side—as if you had a newspaper tucked beneath your arm. Keep your wrists straight and dumbbells parallel to the floor.
  3. Pause. Then, to a count of four, slowly lower the dumbbells back toward your thighs, rotating your forearms so that your arms are again at your sides, with palms facing your thighs.
  4. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions.

Make sure you:

  • Don't let your elbows move away from the sides of your body.
  • Keep your wrists straight.

Step Ups

show me an exampleThis is a great strengthening exercise that requires only a set of stairs. But don't let its simplicity fool you. Step-ups will improve your balance and build strength in your legs, hips, and buttocks.

  1. Stand alongside the handrail at the bottom of a staircase. With your feet flat and toes facing forward, put your right foot on the first step.
  2. Holding the handrail for balance, to a count of two, straighten your right leg to lift up your left leg slowly until it reaches the first step. As you're lifting yourself up, make sure that your right knee stays straight and does not move forward past your ankle. Let your left foot tap the first step near your right foot.
  3. Pause. Then, using your right leg to support your weight, to a count of four, slowly lower your left foot back to the floor.
  4. Repeat 10 times with the right leg and 10 times with the left leg for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions with each leg.

Make sure you:

  • Don't let your back leg do the work.
  • Don't let momentum do the work.
  • Press your weight through the heel rather than ball or toes of your front leg as you lift.

Overhead Press

show me an exampleThis useful exercise targets several muscles in the arms, upper back, and shoulders. It can also help firm the back of your upper arms and make reaching for objects in high cupboards easier.

  1. Stand or sit in an armless chair with feet shoulder-width apart. With a dumbbell in each hand, raise your hands, palms facing forward, until the dumbbells are level with your shoulders and parallel to the floor.
  2. To a count of two, slowly push the dumbbells up over your head until your arms are fully extended—but don't lock your elbows.
  3. Pause. Then, to a count of four, slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder level, bringing your elbows down close to your sides.
  4. Repeat 10 times for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions.

Make sure you:

  • Keep your wrists straight.
  • Don't lock your elbows.
  • Don't let the dumbbells move too far in front of your body or behind it.
  • Breathe throughout the exercise.

Hip Abduction

show me an exampleBy targeting the muscles of the hips, thighs, and buttocks, this exercise makes your lower body shapelier and strengthens your hipbones, which may be especially vulnerable to fracture as you age.

  1. Stand behind a sturdy chair, with feet slightly apart and toes facing forward. Keep your legs straight, but do not lock your knees.
  2. To a count of two, slowly lift your right leg out to the side. Keep your left leg straight—but again, do not lock your knee.
  3. Pause. Then, to a count of four, slowly lower your right foot back to the ground.
  4. Repeat 10 times with the right leg and 10 times with the left leg for one set. Rest for one to two minutes. Then complete a second set of 10 repetitions with each leg.

Make sure you:

  • Don't lock your knee on the supporting leg.
  • Keep your toes facing forward throughout the move.
  • Don't lean to the side when you lift your leg.

* To increase the difficulty of this exercise, you may add ankle weights.

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