American Stroke Foundation

ExerciseUpper Body Exercise

Upper Body Exercise

Exercise helps prevent strokes and is important for keeping us physically and mentally healthy. There are many types of exercise and different ways we can engage in exercise. This video includes a seated upper body workout to promote physical activity throughout the day. When following along with the video remember to keep breathing throughout the exercises, to use a sturdy chair for support, and to complete these exercises to your own tolerance and abilities.

Deep Breathing (0:55-1:39)

The video starts off with some deep breathing to help us relax, prepare, and warm up for the workout.

6 Stretches (1:47- 7:14)

  1. Head Circles. Bring your chin to your chest and move your head to make a circle. After 4 circles switch directions. If this exercise makes you dizzy feel free to skip.
  2. Shoulder Shurgs. Bring your shoulders up to ears to warm up your shoulder muscles.
  3. Arm Raises. Raise your arms up towards the ceiling and hold the stretch for 15 seconds. You can also raise your arms by interlocking your fingers and raising both hands together.
  4. Side Stretch. With your hands still up in the air lean to the right side. Grab the base of your chair with one hand to help with stability. Hold for 15 seconds then switche to the left side.
  5. Twists. Twist in your chair by turning both shoulders toward the right. Grab the back and base of the chair for support and hold the twist for 15 seconds. Then twist to the left side and hold for 15 seconds.
  6. Toe Touches. Sit in your chair with both legs extended in front and reach down for your toes. It’s okay if you can’t touch your toes I can’t either. This stretches the hamstring muscles in the back of your legs.

3 Upper Body Exercises (7:32- 12:32)

  1. Pushing Down. Grip the base of the chair with both hands and push down for 10 seconds. You can also alternate and do one arm at a time and bring the other hand over for support. This exercise works the triceps muscle in the back of your arm.
  2. Bicep Curls. Start with your arms down at your side and then raise them up to your shoulders. You can also alternate arms or use your non-affected arm to help your affected arm through the movement.
  3. Punches. Alternate arm punches for 2 sets of 10. You can use your non-affected arm to help your affected arm through the punch. This exercise is good for stretching your arms and getting in a little cardio, which is good for our hearts.

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