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Upper Body Strengthening Program

Depending on which exercise(s) your therapist and doctor give you, you may need weights or a wooden bar. Use disc weights (donut weights-the kind with a hole in the center) or small dumbbell weights for these exercises. You will need 1/2 pound increments ranging from 1/2 pound to 6 pounds. This equipment can be purchased from many sporting goods stores. Dowel rods can be cut to your specifications at any lumber yard. Wear your brace or sleeve if your doctor has prescribed one while doing the exercises. Determine the maximum amount of weight your unaffected arm can lift in each exercise by performing each with the most weight you can handle. If the exercise seems easy, do it again with more weight. Record this maximum weight for each exercise that the unaffected arm can lift. This is the goal you work toward with the injured arm. Exercise the weaker arm once a day, every day. Perform the exercises slowly, at a rate of one repetition per second. Start exercising the weaker arm with a weight that will allow you to barely complete the prescribed number of repetitions because of fatigue. If the exercise seems easy, add more weight next time. If the exercise is too difficult, decrease the amount of weight next time. Over time, as the exercises become easier, increase the amount of weight by 1/2 pound. Do not add more repetitions, but continue to increase weights as you get stronger. These exercises are designed to be performed pain free. If you experience pain while doing them, decrease the height of the lift and/or the amount of weight you are lifting. The generalized muscle soreness you will feel is normal and should not be confused with joint pain. As you progress with the exercises, the soreness will diminish. When the weaker arm can lift the same weight as the stronger arm, continue the exercise with both arms to strengthen both of them to their maximal potential. When you have reached this level, perform the exercises every third day.

Examples of exercises:

  • Shoulder Extension
  • Shoulder Flexion
  • Shoulder Hyperflexion
  • Shoulder Abduction
  • Diagonal Shoulder Pattern
  • Rhomboid Strengthening
  • Shoulder External Rotation
  • Shoulder Internal Rotation
  • Wall Push-Ups
  • Supraspinatus Strengthener
  • T-Exercise
  • Bicep Strengthening
  • Tricep Strengthening
  • Pulley Exercise
  • Rubber Band Exercise
  • Theraband Series
  • Rhomboid/Posterior Deltoid Lift

Please discuss the details of each exercise during your appointment with our doctors and/or therapists when you come to Wellness Plus Clinic.

 

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