Strength Training – zero weights chair exercises

I have debilitating arthritis. Sometimes the bone spurs in my feet keep me from doing the level of activity I want to do. This is why I love cycling now.

It was much worse when I was heavier. When I weighed over 450 pounds, I was under the care of a cardiologist. He told me not to lift weights.

There are a lot of healthy reasons to lift weights. Especially for the diabetes I used to battle. It also helps you lose weight easier if you do it right.

So, the cardiologist prescribed the following exercises. I do them 2-3 times per week. They help develop muscle and tone my body without adding additional strain on my heart. I highly recommend them for the morbidly obese or anyone who battles aching joints.

Each exercise is done while sitting in a chair. Time each exercise to last three minutes. Take brief breaks during the exercises if you must, but do not take breaks between the exercises. Remember to always consult a physician before beginning any exercise program.

Arm cross

Hold both arms straight out in front of you with open hand pointed down. Move your arms away from each other beyond shoulder width and then together, crossing and bending your elbows until each hand touches the opposite shoulder or armpit. Then open your arms fully extended and outward beyond shoulder width. Repeat, alternating which arm crosses on top, for three minutes.

Arm roll

Next, hold both arms in front of you like you are going to cross you arms, with one hand scissored over the other. Close each fist and move your hands in a forward circular motion, one hand over the other. After about six revolutions, reverse direction of the circle. Repeat for three minutes.

Up downs

Next, hold both arms out like you are resting them on the arms of a chair. Move one arm straight up about 18-24 inches. Now move both arms simultaneously, one going up, the other returning to the starting position. Repeat for three minutes.

Leg lifts

Start with both feet flat on the floor. Now raise your right foot, only the right foot, until your leg is sticking straight out in front of you. Repeat using only the right leg for three minutes. Then repeat the whole exercise using only the left leg.

Toes up heels up

Start with both feet flat on the floor. Next raise both toes up keeping your heels on the ground. Then move your toes to the floor while simultaneously raising your heels. Then move your heels to the floor while simultaneously raising your toes. Repeat for three minutes.

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