7 Easy Exercises for Stroke Rehabilitation

More than 700,000 adults in the US will suffer a stroke this year, and two-thirds of those people become survivors who will all need rehabilitation. It has been found that people who participate in a stroke rehabilitation program perform better long-term than those who don’t, making it an important step to complete in the weeks and months following a stroke.

Why Rehabilitation Works

Proper rehabilitation will help stroke victims to relearn skills they may have lost due to damage inflicted on the brain. These skills can include coordination, range of motion, and motor control, which each help patients relearn how to do basic daily activities that can help them reestablish their personal independence. Rehabilitation programs are focused on helping patients achieve this through the regular practice of various exercises as instructed by The Bethencourt Group.

Unfortunately, many survivors become inactive after a stroke fearing that they may suffer another. However, the American Heart Association shows clear evidence that physical exercise helps to improve the cardiovascular system, the ability to walk, and increases upper arm strength. In addition, regular exercise helps with many other problems after a stroke like cognitive abilities, balance, and even depression.

Sit to Stand Exercise to Strengthen Leg Muscles

Sit on a stable chair. Move forward to the edge and keep your feet hip width apart. Your feet should be slightly behind your knees. Interlock your fingers, keep equal weight on both legs and with your nose over your feet, stand up fully extended.  Then slowly lower yourself back down on the chair.

Close-up of person holding small green dumbbell during rehabilitation in clinic

Repeat 15 – 20 times.

Strengthen Leg Muscles with Supported Mini Squats

Face a stable surface like a chair or countertop. Keep hips and feet in alignment, and equalize your weight between legs.  As you squat, make sure your hips move backward and your knees do not go over your toes.

Perform this exercise 15 – 20 times. You should feel burning in your leg muscles.

Crumbling Paper for Shoulder Muscles and Fine Motor Skills

Sit at a table with a piece of paper. Crumble the paper with both hands using equal strength. Begin passing the crumbled paper between each hand repeatedly while keeping your shoulders set back and downward.

Then open and flatten the paper back out as you continue to keep the shoulder blades down and still using both hands. 

Supported Reaching and Grasp for Shoulder Muscles and Wrists

Sit in a chair at a table and rest your affected arm on the table. Reach out like you are grasping an object, and then bring it back. Focus on straightening your elbow and extending your fingers at the end of the exercise. As you come back, bend your elbow and make a fist.

Repeat 20 times until your arm becomes fatigued.

Dynamic Weight Shifts for Better Balance and Core Control

Sit upright in a chair, or you could make this more difficult by sitting on a sofa. Shift your weight to one side and then over to the other one. Be sure that the side you are shifting your weight to is gradually elongated all the way through your trunk as your other side begins to compress and shorten itself. 

Repeat 20 –  30 times.

Trunk Sitting Rotations to Help With Balance and Walking Control

While sitting in a chair, interlock your hands and begin moving them downward to your left foot, then upwards to your right shoulder. Keep your elbow straight in an upward position. Have your eyes and the trunk of your body follow your hands.

Repeat 8 – 10 times on one side and then the other.

For safety purposes, it is best to have a caregiver stand in front of you to help you with the upper arm motion included in this exercise.

Standing Hip Abduction With Support To Strengthen Hip And Leg Muscles and Gain Walking Control

Face a countertop or table using your arm for support. Lift your leg to the side with your trunk remaining upright so that you are not leaning over. Keep your pelvis level and do not rotate it sideways.

Repeat 10 – 12 times on the right side before switching to the other side and repeating the process. 

Seeking Assistance from The Bethencourt Group

If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, contact The Bethencourt Group.  We are here to help you regain your independence and improve your quality of life. 

If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call (657) 241-9440 today!