After a stroke, it is essential to start to build strength as soon as possible. It is necessary to consider exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment needed. So, whether you are just starting to rebuild your strength or are looking for new exercises to add to your routine, give these a try! Read on to learn five post stroke exercises to build strength
1. Seated Marching
Seated marching is one of the gait training exercises for stroke patients that is safe and easy. The movement doesn’t require as much balance and places less stress on the hips and legs.
First, sit down in a chair with your spine straight and feet flat on the ground. Start by lifting one leg with the knee bent into the chest. Then place that leg back down onto the floor. Switch to the other leg and repeat the same exercise. Create small goals for yourself and slowly increase your goals. For instance, try doing 10 marches, which would be 5 on the left and 5 on the right. You can add or decrease marches depending on your needs. As your coordination improves you can increase marches or set a specific time length as a goal. You can also challenge yourself by doing multiple sets or pausing at the top of the lift for a second or two for added strength training.
2. Walking with a Weight
Adding weight while walking may seem counterproductive, but this type of post-stroke exercise can speed up the process of regaining muscle strength. It’s best to start with just a five-pound weight and work up to 10 pounds as you get stronger.
Walking with weight involves using a weighted vest, backpack, or dumbbells. You’ll want to start by walking at a comfortable pace for five minutes, then increase the time by one minute every day until you reach 20 minutes per session. As with marching, you should aim to speed up your walk as your balance improves. Walking with weight is an excellent way to work out your arms, legs, and trunk muscles in one workout session.
3. Chair Swings
Chair swings are a tremendous post-stroke exercise because they work out your legs, trunk, and arm muscles all at once. Another bonus is that they’re a pretty simple learning motion, so you’ll see results quickly. You can work up quite a sweat from doing these.
To do chair swings, you’ll need a sturdy chair with no arms and a flat surface. Sit in the chair with your feet flat on the ground, and shoulder-width apart. Hold onto the edge of the chair with your hands and lean back slightly so that you feel the tension in your abdominal muscles.
Now, lift your feet off the ground and swing them forward and back. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged throughout the entire exercise. Start with 10 swings, then work up to 20. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of repetitions or the amount of weight you’re using.
4. Single-Leg Stands
Single leg stand involves balancing on just one foot while raising the other off the ground with only toes touching the floor behind you. It will help if you start by doing 10 repetitions at first, then work your way up until you reach 20 repetitions per session. As soon as you’re able, start to raise the lifted leg a bit to make a stand more challenging.
Single leg stands are an injury-free post-stroke exercise that can help you build and maintain your strength and balance. The most significant benefit is that you don’t need any equipment for this exercise; all you’ll need is determination and patience as you work your way up to doing 20 repetitions.
Marching may seem like something you did in grade school, but it’s an excellent post-stroke exercise for improving your balance and strength. Marching is low-impact, which means that even if you’re recovering from a stroke, it shouldn’t cause any additional strain on the joints.
Start by marching for one minute at first, then work your way up to 10 minutes total per session. If you get tired during this exercise, remember not to overdo it; rest when required and don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Marching is a simple post-exercise, yet it can produce incredible results when done correctly.
In conclusion, make sure to incorporate these five exercises into your post-stroke exercise routine. You may also want to consider hiring a physical therapist or physiotherapist to get one on one assistance with doing these types of movements. It’s important to focus on form and to do these exercises correctly. You want to avoid any risk of injury when you’re working on regaining your strength. As with any path to recovery, it is vital to treat yourself with kindness and to listen to your body. If any exercise or movement causes you pain stop and make adjustments to the exercise. There is always a different variation you can try. And most importantly take breaks and rest when your body is telling you to rest.