muscles help support the joints and prevent injury to the joints
when you are doing aerobic exercise. Strengthening the muscles (and
bones) can be accomplished by using weights, exercise bands, or
simply by lifting the weight of your body, arms, legs, etc. (leg
lifts, push-ups, sit-ups). Mentally focusing on the exercise you
are doing also helps in relieving stress. Don't overdo it. Taking
every other day off will give your body a chance to recover.
Ab Strength Exercise: Crunches
Start by lying on your back with knees bent. (Anchoring the feet
or keeping the legs straight along the floor can strain the
lower back). Exhale when raising your torso off the floor and
inhale when lowering. Just raise your head and shoulder off the
floor. Sitting up all the way is hard on your lower back. You can use
your hands to support your neck but be careful not to pull your neck or
you could tear a muscle.
Back Strength Exercise
Lay on stomach, arms reached out past your head with palms and
forehead on floor. Lift one arm (as you raise your head and
shoulders) and the opposite leg at the same time, stretching
them away from each other. Hold for 10 - 30
seconds. Switch sides.
Glutes (buttocks) Strength Exercise
Stand, holding onto the back of a chair for support. Swing leg
back at a diagonal until you feel your glute muscles tighten.
Tense muscles as much as you can and swing leg back a couple
more inches. Return leg to floor. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides.
Quadriceps (front of thigh) Strength Exercise: Leg
Lie flat on back. Bend left knee at 90 degree angle, keeping
foot flat on floor. Keeping the right leg straight,
slowly lift it to the height of the left knee. Hold for a count
of 5. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides. Exhale as you
raise the leg, inhale as you lower the leg. (Never lift both
legs at the same time as this causes excess stress on the
Inner Thigh Strength Exercise: Side Leg Lifts
Lie on floor on right side. Bend your left leg and bring it to
the floor in front of you. Slowly lift your right leg six
to 10 inches off the floor. Hold for a count of 3. Slowly
lower leg back to floor. Exhale as you raise
the leg, inhale as you lower the leg. Repeat 10 times. Switch
Exercise: Hamstring Curls
Lie on stomach. Place left foot onto the back of the right heel. Slowly
pull your right heel toward your buttocks - resisting with the left leg. This
contracts the hamstrings. Hold for a count of 10. (keep pressing your left
foot and right heel against each other) Hold for a count of 10. Relax for count
of 3. Do 10 repetitions.
Calves Strength Exercise
Step up onto a stair (or phone book). The balls of your
feet should be on the step, your heels hanging over. Lower your
heels until you fell a gentle stretch, then raise your heels as
high as possible. Repeat 10 times. Inhale when you raise your heels.
Exhale when you lower you heels.
Chest, Shoulders, & Back of upper arms
Lie face down.
Keep your body straight. Place hands on floor slightly
wider than shoulder width apart , fingers pointing forward and slightly
outward. Feet should be together, toes curled under on floor.
Slowly straighten your arms, lifting your body off the floor
then slowly lower yourself down until you are a few inches
from the floor. Inhale as you lower yourself, exhale when you push
yourself back up. Repeat 10 times. As you get stronger, work
your way up to 50.
Chest, Shoulders, & Back of upper arms
Strength Exercises: Modified Push Ups
As above except the knees
are bent and on the floor....
if the above push ups are too difficult you
can try using a wall. Stand a few couple of feet away from
wall. Place palms on wall a little wider than shoulder level, hands
pointing up. Bending your elbows, slowly lower your body toward
the wall. You can also use a counter top or any stable piece
Biceps Strength Exercise: Biceps Curls
Holding onto dumbbells (or use a water bottle or can of soup),
stand with your arms straight down, palms facing forward.
Bending at the elbow, slowly lift your arms until your hands are
at shoulder height then slowly lower to starting position. Keep
your elbows close to your body. Exhale when raising your arms.
Inhale when lowering arms. Do 10 curls, rest and repeat.