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SAMPLE EXERCISES IN STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE

Sample Exercises - Strength Exercises

Examples of Strength Exercises

Arm raiseArm Raise
Strengthens shoulder muscles.

  1. Sit in armless chair with your back supported by back of chair.
  2. Keep feet flat on floor even with your shoulders.
  3. Hold hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing inward.
  4. Raise both arms to side, shoulder height.
  5. Hold the position for 1 second.
  6. Slowly lower arms to sides. Pause.
  7. Repeat 8 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.


Chair standChair Stand

Strengthens muscles in abdomen and thighs. Your goal is to do this exercise without using your hands as you become stronger.

  1. Place pillows on the back of chair.
  2. Sit toward front of chair, knees bent, feet flat on floor.
  3. Lean back on pillows in half-reclining position. Keep your back and shoulders straight throughout exercise.
  4. Raise upper body forward until sitting upright, using hands as little as possible (or not at all, if you can). Your back should no longer lean against pillows.
  5. Slowly stand up, using hands as little as possible.
  6. Slowly sit back down. Pause.
  7. Repeat 8 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.


Biceps Curl

Biceps curlStrengthens upper-arm muscles.

  1. Sit in armless chair with your back supported by back of chair.
  2. Keep feet flat on floor even with your shoulders.
  3. Hold hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing inward.
  4. Slowly bend one elbow, lifting weight toward chest. (Rotate palm to face shoulder while lifting weight.)
  5. Hold position for 1 second.
  6. Slowly lower arm to starting position. Pause.
  7. Repeat with other arm.
  8. Alternate arms until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each arm.
  9. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Plantar Flexion

Picture of Plantar FlexionStrengthens ankle and calf muscles. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Stand straight, feet flat on floor, holding onto a table or chair for balance.
  2. Slowly stand on tiptoe, as high as possible.
  3. Hold position for 1 second.
  4. Slowly lower heels all the way back down. Pause.
  5. Do the exercise 8 to 15 times.
  6. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.

Variation:
As you become stronger, do the exercise standing on one leg only, alternating legs for a total of 8 to 15 times on each leg. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Triceps Extension

Triceps extension(If your shoulders aren't flexible enough to do this exercise, see alternative "Dip" exercise.)

Strengthens muscles in back of upper arm. Keep supporting your arm with your hand throughout the exercise.

  1. Sit in chair with your back supported by back of chair.
  2. Keep feet flat on floor even with shoulders.
  3. Hold a weight in one hand. Raise that arm straight toward ceiling, palm facing in.
  4. Support this arm, below elbow, with other hand.
  5. Slowly bend raised arm at elbow, bringing hand weight toward same shoulder.
  6. Slowly straighten arm toward ceiling.
  7. Hold position for 1 second.
  8. Slowly bend arm toward shoulder again. Pause.
  9. Repeat the bending and straightening until you have done the exercise 8 to 15 times.
  10. Repeat 8 to 15 times with your other arm.
  11. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Alternative "Dip" Exercise For Back of Upper Arm

Picture of Alternative "Dip" ExerciseThis pushing motion will strengthen your arm muscles even if you aren't yet able to lift yourself up off of the chair. Don't use your legs or feet for assistance, or use them as little as possible.

  1. Sit in chair with armrests.
  2. Lean slightly forward, keep your back and shoulders straight.
  3. Grasp arms of chair. Your hands should be level with trunk of body or slightly farther forward.
  4. Tuck feet slightly under chair, heels off the ground, weight on toes and balls of feet.
  5. Slowly push body off of chair using arms, not legs.
  6. Slowly lower back down to starting position. Pause
  7. Repeat 8 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.

Knee flexion
Knee Flexion

Strengthens muscles in back of thigh. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Stand straight holding onto a table or chair for balance.
  2. Slowly bend knee as far as possible. Don't move your upper leg at all; bend your knee only.
  3. Hold position for 1 second.
  4. Slowly lower foot all the way back down. Pause.
  5. Repeat with other leg.
  6. Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  7. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Hip Flexion

Picture of Hip FlexionStrengthens thigh and hip muscles. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Stand straight to the side or behind a chair or table, holding on for balance.
  2. Slowly bend one knee toward chest, without bending waist or hips.
  3. Hold position for 1 second.
  4. Slowly lower leg all the way down. Pause.
  5. Repeat with other leg.
  6. Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  7. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Shoulder Flexion

Picture of Shoulder FlexionStrengthens shoulder muscles.

  1. Sit in armless chair with your back supported by back of chair.
  2. Keep feet flat on floor even with your shoulders.
  3. Hold hand weights straight down at your sides, with palms facing inward.
  4. Raise both arms in front of you (keep them straight and rotate so palms face upward) to shoulder height.
  5. Hold position for 1 second.
  6. Slowly lower arms to sides. Pause.
  7. Repeat 8 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 repetitions.


Knee Extension

Picture of Knee Extension

Strengthens muscles in front of thigh and shin. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Sit in chair. Only the balls of your feet and your toes should rest on the floor. Put rolled towel under knees, if needed, to lift your feet. Rest your hands on your thighs or on the sides of the chair.
  2. Slowly extend one leg in front of you as straight as possible.
  3. Flex foot to point toes toward head.
  4. Hold position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower leg back down. Pause.
  6. Repeat with other leg.
  7. Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Hip Extension

Picture of Hip ExtensionStrengthens buttock and lower-back muscles. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Stand 12 to 18 inches from a table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  2. Bend forward at hips at about 45-degree angle; hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  3. Slowly lift one leg straight backwards without bending your knee, pointing your toes, or bending your upper body any farther forward.
  4. Hold position for 1 second.
  5. Slowly lower leg. Pause.
  6. Repeat with other leg.
  7. Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.


Side Leg Raise

Picture of Side Leg RaiseStrengthens muscles at sides of hips and thighs. Use ankle weights, if you are ready.

  1. Stand straight, directly behind table or chair, feet slightly apart.
  2. Hold onto a table or chair for balance.
  3. Slowly lift one leg 6-12 inches out to side. keep your back and both legs straight. Don't point your toes outward; keep them facing forward.
  4. Hold position for 1 second.
  5. Slowly lower leg. Pause.
  6. Repeat with other leg.
  7. Alternate legs until you have done 8 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
  8. Rest; then do another set of 8 to 15 alternating repetitions.

SOURCE: National Institute on Aging Building 31, Room 5C27 31 Center Drive, MSC 2292 Bethesda, MD 20892


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