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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises

These exercises are useful to get you in shape for more vigorous aerobic exercise or as part of your warm-up and cool-down routines.

Shoulder Exercises

1. Pendulum

This is good for a painful or limited shoulder. It helps to relax shoulder muscles and moves the joint in all directions.

You can do this exercise either standing or sitting.

Lean slightly forward. Let your arm hang freely in front of you. Relax and feel the weight of your arm. 
Keeping the arm relaxed, begin to make small circles. Gradually increase to larger circles.

Exercise just past the point of discomfort, but don't push too hard.

2. Shoulder Cradle

Grasp one arm near the elbow with your other hand and raise the arm up over your head.

Holding your arm as high as it will go, bend and straighten your elbow. If your shoulder is painful or tight, you may do this exercise lying down.

3. Wand Exercise

If one or both of your shoulders are particularly tight or weak, this exercise is good for you. 
Use a cane, yardstick, or mop handle as your wand.

Place one hand on each end and raise the wand as high overhead as possible.

This exercise can be done standing, sitting, or lying down.

4. Shoulder Pulley

Fasten a hook or pulley in a beam or on the top of a door frame.

Place a piece of rope or clothesline through the hook. Start with enough rope to let you sit while exercising.

Hold one end of the rope in each hand. If gripping the rope is uncomfortable, add padding or handles.

As you pull down with one arm, the other arm will be raised. Move your arms up and down in front of you and also out to the side.

5. Pat and Reach

This exercise helps increase flexibility and strength for both shoulders.

Raise one arm up over your head and bend your elbow to pat yourself on the back.

Move your other arm to your back, bend your elbow, and reach up toward the other hand. Can your fingertips touch?

Relax and switch arm positions. Can you touch on that side?

For most people, one position will work better than the other.

6. Shoulder Blade Pinch

This is a good exercise to strengthen the middle and upper back and to stretch the chest.

Sit or stand with your head in heads-up position and your shoulders relaxed.

Raise your arms out to the sides with elbows bent.

Pinch your shoulder blades together by moving your elbows as far back as you can.

Hold briefly, then slowly move your arms forward to touch elbows.

If this position is uncomfortable, lower your hands to touch your shoulders. 

Next Topic: Back And Abdominal Exercises

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