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American Stroke Foundation

ExerciseSeated Exercises for Stroke Survivors

Seated Exercises for Stroke Survivors

This video demonstrates seated exercises that can be done with a beach ball to target upper body and core strengthening.

For these exercises, you can use a beach ball, pillow, or clasp your hands together. Make sure to sit in a straight back chair that does not move. For best positioning during exercises, sit on the edge of the seat and sit up nice and tall.

Try To Complete These Exercises Six Times

1. Arm Circles. Hold the beach ball in your hands, hold your arms straight out in front of you, then make circular motions. Begin with the motions going one way, then switch the motions to go in the opposite direction.

2. Figure 8. Keep your back straight, squeeze your abdomen, hold the beach ball in your hands, extend your arms out in front of you, then make a figure 8 motion with your arms. Stretch your arms but not to the point of pain.

3. Diagonals. Hold the beach ball in your hands, extend your arms up in the air to one side, then bring arms down to the hip on the opposite side. Make sure to do each side.

4. Thighs. Place the beach ball between your legs, squeeze the beach ball with your thighs tightly, hold for three seconds. Relax then repeat.

5. Side Dips. Hold the beach ball with one hand and at your side. Place your other hand on your abdomen. With the arm holding the beach ball, reach down to the floor then come back up. Squeeze your abdomen while conducting this exercise. Make sure to do both sides. Try to practice this daily to maintain strength.

6. Forward Lean. You can do this exercise with or without the beach ball. This exercise simulates the beginning process of going from sitting to standing.

  • With ball: Sit on the edge of the seat with your feet flat on the floor. Place the ball on your lap and put your hands on top of the ball. Lean forward towards the ball, putting weight in your arms and legs and engaging your core.
  • Without ball: Sit on the edge of the seat with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees and lean forward, putting weight in your arms and legs and engaging your core.

Seated Table Exercise

Forward Lean/Reach. For this exercise you can use a beach ball, pillow, or towel. Sit at the edge of the seat with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the ball, pillow, or towel on the table in front of you. Then, lean/reach forward with your arms straight, pushing the ball or pillow out and then bring it back to you. Next, lean/reach to the side, pushing the ball or pillow outward and then bring it back to the center. Lastly, repeat the same motion on the other side. Repeat these motions six times.

Wall Exercise

For this exercise, be sure to have a safe environment when hitting the ball against a wall or playing with family. Make sure you are seated in a sturdy chair.

Ball Wall Toss. While sitting, throw the beach ball at the wall and catch it as it comes back at you. This can be done by using your legs as well, which will involve kicking the beach ball at the wall and catching it as it comes back to you.

This exercise can be done by involving your family or caregiver by having them throw the ball at the wall for you to catch.

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