Exercise: Exercises to Try

Frequently Asked Questions

4. What are some exercises I can try to strengthen my upper body?

Here are 6 exercises to strengthen the upper body. They include

  1. wrist curls
  2. arm curls
  3. side arm raises
  4. elbow extensions
  5. chair dips
  6. seated rows with resistance band

Muscle strength is progressive over time. Gradually increase the amount of weight you use to build strength. When you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily, increase the amount of weight at your next session.

Safety Tips

Before doing the exercises that follow, be sure to observe these safety tips.

Wrist Curls. This exercise will strengthen your wrists. It also will help ensure good form and prevent injury when you do upper body strength exercises.

  1. Rest your forearm on the arm of a sturdy chair with your hand over the edge.
  2. Hold weight with palm facing upward.
  3. Slowly bend your wrist up and down.
  4. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  5. Repeat with other hand 10 to 15 times.
  6. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each hand.

Arm Curls. This exercise will strengthen your upper arm muscles.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold weights straight down at your sides, palms facing forward. Breathe in slowly.
  3. Breathe out as you slowly bend your elbows and lift weights toward chest. Keep elbows at your sides.
  4. Hold the position for 1 second.
  5. Breathe in as you slowly lower your arms.
  6. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  7. Rest; then repeat 10 to 15 more times.

Side Arm Raises. This exercise will strengthen your shoulders and make lifting groceries easier.

  1. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting in a sturdy, armless chair.
  2. Keep feet flat on the floor even, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold hand weights straight down at your sides with palms facing inward.
  4. Slowly breathe out as you raise both arms to the side, shoulder height.
  5. Hold the position for 1 second.
  6. Breathe in as you slowly lower arms to the sides.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then repeat 10 to 15 more times.

Elbow Extensions. This exercise will strengthen the muscles in the back of your arms.

  1. You can do this exercise while standing or sitting in a sturdy, armless chair.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold weight in one hand with palm facing inward. Raise that arm toward ceiling.
  4. Support this arm below elbow with other hand. Breathe in slowly.
  5. Slowly bend raised arm at elbow and bring weight toward shoulder.
  6. Hold position for 1 second.
  7. Breathe out and slowly straighten your arm over your head. Be careful not to lock your elbow.
  8. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  9. Repeat 10 to 15 times with other arm.
  10. Repeat 10 to 15 more times with each arm.

Chair Dips. This exercise will strengthen your arm muscles even if you are not able to lift yourself up off the chair.

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair with armrests with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lean slightly forward; keep your back and shoulders straight.
  3. Grasp arms of chair with your hands next to you. Breathe in slowly.
  4. Breathe out and use your arms to push your body slowly off the chair.
  5. Hold position for 1 second.
  6. Breathe in as you slowly lower yourself back down.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then repeat 10 to 15 more times.

Seated Row with Resistance Band. This exercise will strengthen your upper back, shoulder, and neck muscles.

  1. Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place the center of the resistance band under both feet. Hold each end of the band with palms facing inward.
  3. Relax your shoulders and extend your arms beside your legs. Breathe in slowly.
  4. Breathe out slowly and pull both elbows back until your hands are at your hips.
  5. Hold position for 1 second.
  6. Breathe in as you slowly return your hands to the starting position.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  8. Rest; then repeat 10 to 15 more times.