Continuing in our beginner at home exercise series is arms. We use our arms in our daily life for pulling, pushing, reaching and lifting. Arm strength is important for activities such as pulling back the covers on your bed, pushing your cart at the grocery store, reaching down dishes from above your sink and lifting your groceries into your car. Strong arms can also be used to assist in getting out of a chair or up off the floor. When we exercise our arms, we must consider both our forearms and our upper arms as well as our shoulders.
As always consult with a medical professional before any large changes to your exercise routine and stop if you encounter any pain. Prior to exercising also make sure to warm up.
For each exercise 8-12 repetitions or 45 seconds of work are recommended; whichever you prefer is fine.
-stand slightly less than arms distance from the wall
-place hands at shoulder height on wall fingers facing up approximately shoulder width distance apart (to make exercise more difficult move your hands closer together)
-Bend arms bringing torso closer to wall
-exhale and actively push away from the wall
-make sure that you engage your core (squeeze your stomach) as you pushup. Don’t let your back arch excessively
-if your wrists bother you consider either rotating your hands slightly (so that fingers do not point directly at the roof) or make closed fists and perform the exercise from your knuckles
Backwards Arm Circles
-hold arms out to the side parallel to the floor, palms also parallel to the floor
-slowly circle arms backwards keeping arms straight and strong
-change the size of the circles going from small to big and vice versa all while keeping arms straight
-to do this as a cardio exercise perform arm circles very quickly and march feet
-if you feel any shoulder pain while doing this try lowering the height at which you rotate your arms
-keeping your back straight lean forward (bending at your hips) with slight bend in knees
-Move arms in line with shoulders palms facing towards each other
-slowly lift your arms focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together
-add weights if comfortable. Water bottles can also be used when starting out.
-this exercise is really good for helping to improve back strength and posture; however if it is uncomfortable for you feel free to either lower your arms or reduce how much you pull your shoulder blades together
-raise right arm overhead and bend at the elbow
-with your left hand grab onto your right elbow
-pull your right elbow towards your head
-make sure that you keep resistance in your right arm as you perform this stretch
-do the same on the other side of your body
-this stretch can be difficult to perform as it requires lots of upper body mobility. If you need you can start your elbow bent at eye level and work to getting it above your head over time.
-roll your shoulders back, squeezing your shoulder blades together with your arms out to the side
-keep your arms there or link your arms behind you while maintaining that wide chest
-Face out from the wall and take a small step so your heels are 6-12 inches away from the wall
-bend your knees slightly and lean your head and back so they are completely against the wall
-turn your arms so your palms face out and your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Try and get the back of your arms and hands completely touching the wall
-push up through your arms to straighten as much as you can while maintaining contact with the wall.
- bend arms and return to starting position keeping contact with wall throughout
-if this exercise is a struggle for you try placing your arms and shoulders against the wall first and then pushing your lower back against the wall as seen in the second video