DEVELOPING UPPER-BODY STRENGTH
How to exercise to positively impact cardiovascular function, bone strength and mental well-being
Increasing muscle strength can positively impact the performance of activities of daily living, cardiovascular function and bone strength as well as a person’s mental and psychological well-being. The exercises here incorporate muscles in the back, shoulders and arms. Before you introduce these exercises into the daily regimen of someone in your care, be sure to consult with his or her physician. Over time, increase repetitions; ten is a good number to aim for. And make sure the person pauses and relaxes between each.
SHOULDER BLADE SQUEEZE
Begin with the person seated in a chair with both arms extended in front of her at shoulder level, palms down. Next, have her bend her elbows and pull her elbows toward the middle of her back, squeezing her shoulder blades together. Hold and repeat. To make this exercise more difficult, the person can hold a resistance exercise band with both hands.
Start with the person either seated or standing with his arms at his side. Have him keep his elbows straight and raise his arms in front of him to shoulder height (palms facing each other), then lower them. Repeat. If this is painful, widen the distance between the arms. This exercise can be made more difficult by holding a light weight in each hand.
Begin with the person either seated or standing with her arms at her side. Next have her bend her elbows and bring her hands toward her shoulders. Lower and repeat. Add light weights to make this exercise more difficult.
TRICEP PRESS UPS
To perform this exercise, be sure the person is seated in a sturdy chair with arms, feet planted firmly on the floor. (If in a wheelchair, make sure brakes are locked.) Have him place his hands on the arms of the chair so that his hands are in line with his shoulders. Next, he should push into his hands, straightening his elbows and trying to lift his bottom off the chair. This exercise is easier when the seat is higher, and more difficult when it’s lower.