Stroke recovery exercises - Amber group - Week 4 Flexibility
This set of exercises are for the fourth week of our four-week stroke recovery exercise programme. They focus on improving your flexibility. The video is aimed at stroke survivors who are in the amber group. This group can exercise independently but may require support.
Mark: Hi, my name is Mark Watterson. I'm a physiotherapist who specialises in musculoskeletal injuries and neurological rehabilitation. My main passion in life is helping those recover from their stroke. I'm proud to bring you these activities in the videos you're about to watch.
Craig: In this set of activities, you will need a chair or work top to support your balance and a wall. Before starting the warm up to this activity, it is very important that carers and family members watch the "Advice and exercises for carers" video.
Mark: Okay, Amber group. This is your warm up for your flexibility exercises. So, for this, you will need to be standing. Now to make yourself feel a bit more secure or supported, you can use a surface to lean on to if you need to. For this demonstration, I'm just using a chair. If you wish to use a kitchen countertop or a table surface, that's perfectly fine. What you're gonna do then, give yourself a nice, strong base of support. Shoulder width apart feet. Find your balance. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly between your legs, and we're just gonna march for 30 seconds, trying to get the knees as high as we can, up to our waist. So let's give that a go. 30 second march. Here we go. And go. Nice high knees. Find your balance, your support's there if you need. If not, then try and do it without. Maybe focus on a target in the background to help with your balance. Nice and controlled in your own pace. And get those knees high up. Few more seconds and relax. Use the support if you needed to steady yourself as you give yourself a little rest. We're going to do that one more time. Only this time, we're going to step forward and we're going to step back again. Use the support if you need to, just to begin with. If you feel confident, then don't use the support. Here we go. Another 30 seconds. Only this time stepping forward and back. And away we go. And step forward and back. And forward and back. So right foot, left foot. One, two. Keep it going. Well done, keep the knees high. One step forward and one step back. Support's there if you need it or if you're getting tired. If not, take your hand off. Make sure you're safe. Few more seconds. And relax yourself there. Give yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching points of this activity that we have just shown you.
Craig: Stand tall with your feet hip width apart. March with high knees for 30 seconds. Hold on to the back of a chair or work top if you need to steady yourself. Step forwards and backwards in a marching motion. Again hold a support if needed to study yourself and do this for 30 seconds to
Mark: Okay, Amber group. This is your first exercise for your flexibility group. So what you need to do now you need to be standing once again and you have your stable surface or support to assist with your balance, if you need that. Again, I'm just gonna use a chair for this demonstration. Feel free to use whatever you feel comfortable with. So we're going to stretch out our calves today. Okay, so what we're gonna do is we're going to face towards the stable surface that we're using. Okay. We're gonna grab hold of the object and you're going to take a step back of one of your feet, doesn't matter which one, as long as you're safe, okay? And you're going to make sure that the back heel of the foot that is behind you is in contact with the floor. From there, you're going to bend the knee of the leg that's forward, and you're going to stretch it like so into this lunge position. You're going to feel the stretch down the back of your leg. You want to hold it there for 10 seconds. Let's do that now. Four, three, two, one and relax. Bring yourself back up and repeat it with the other leg. So bring it back. Keep the heel on the floor, bend this knee, lean into it, use the support and hold it there. Here we go for another 10 seconds. And ten, three, two, one, and relax. Bring yourself back up. Give yourself a minute to rest. we're going to do that one more time. With a little progression, we're gonna bring our feet closer together. So if you're ready, if you're comfortable, get back into that position. Only this time you're going to bring the foot that's going behind you right behind the opposite one. So both both your toes and feet are facing forward behind each other. Push that heel back down into the floor. And lean into your leg. Let's hold it there, 10 seconds, here we go. four, three, two, one and relax. Bring yourself back up and repeat with the other leg. Bring it behind you. Keep the heel down. Lean into that opposite leg. Here we go. Final 10 seconds for your stretch. Four, three, two, one. And relax. Bring yourself back up. Well done. Give yourself a few moments there to go through the coaching points for this activity that we have just shown you.
Craig: Stand with a chair or work top in front of you to aid your balance if needed. Take one foot backwards make sure your heel is in contact with the floor. Bend your front leg until you can feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold that stretch for 10 seconds and then repeat with your other leg to progress. Bring your feet a bit closer together and repeat the activity.
Mark: Okay Amber Group. This is your second exercise now for your flexibility category. So you will be standing once again and you will need a chair or something stable at your side for your support. Only this time you want it on your stronger side. So you've got that to balance yourself as you do this exercise. So nice. Stable feet, shoulder width apart. Okay. What you gonna do with your stronger on, you're gonna rested on that surface, ideally a chair so we can slide up and down. And what you're gonna to focus on is sliding your hips and your hand down to that side for the stretch. Bring it back up, and then you're gonna slide your hand down the chair. So you've got that support stretching out your weaker side. We're going to do that for 10 seconds. Here we go. So let's head over now to one side and hold it for 10 seconds. Five seconds to go. Two, one and relax. Bring yourself back up. Now we're gonna go to the other side, using the support. Feel the stretch and hold it there. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one. And relax. Bring yourself back up. But to do that one more time, but we'll try and increase the stretch. Now you're just gonna go a little bit wider with your feet and we're gonna do the same again. So other side and slide your hand down. Let's hold it there for 10 seconds. Keep going. Five seconds to go, four, three, two, one and up we go. And last one to the other side. Slide your hand down the support. Greater stretch. 10 seconds. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And relax, bring yourself back up. Give yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching points for this activity that we've just shown you.
Craig: Stand with a chair on your stronger side and place your stronger hand on the chair. Slide your weaker arm down your weaker leg, towards your knee. Hold here for 10 seconds. Repeat on your stronger side by sliding your hand down the back of the chair towards the seat. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat again but try to widen your feet so you get more of a stretch down the side of your body.
Mark: Okay, Amber group. This is your third and final exercise now, regarding your flexibility. So what you need to be doing, is you need to be standing close to a wall. If you feel a bit insecure, you can have a chair or support by you at mid height. If not, you can always use your stronger arm to balance yourself on the wall. So what you want to do. Just give yourself a nice, wide, stable base of support, and what you need to do is with your weaker arm, is you want to try and get as much wrist extension as you can with the fingers also extended. Now, some people might find it difficult to extend the fingers and the wrist. Just ease yourself into it. If you do struggle to get full extension of the wrist and fingers, then just work with what you've got, as long as it's pain free and within your comfort zone, that's fine. So if you do struggle to get that extension, you want to support your hand onto the wall like so. Okay. And you're gonna put your stronger hand on the wall also, and you're just gonna lean into your arms. And as you can see, we're trying to create that wrist extension, and we're just going to hold it there. So we're stretching out the muscles in the forearm there. Okay. Now, for those who do have an extension in the fingers and the wrist, what you want to do is try and get your palm nice and flat. With your weaker and stronger arm and again, we just want to hold it there, a little bit of weight into the arms that are bent, and we're going to hold it for 20 seconds. Here we go. Try and be even and balanced through both arms. Make sure you're not in any pain or discomfort. You will feel some tightness. That's perfectly fine. And it should start to ease up. Okay, a few more seconds. And relax yourself there. If you need to control your arm down, give yourself a few minutes to rest. And we're going to do that one more time. Okay? Little progression, if you wish to is we're going to get their arms back in there, if we can. Full extent of the fingers and the wrist again. If you can achieve that, that's perfectly fine. This time you're going to place your arms back on and what you wanna do, maybe just take a little step back so your arms are straight and then keep the elbows locked and then lean into your hands for a greater stretch. Here we go. Last stretch. 20 seconds. Here we go. You're trying to keep your elbows locked and just slow lean your body weight into your hands. Again, work within your range. Make sure it's pain free. A few more seconds. And relax there. Give yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching points for this activity that we have just shown you.
Craig: Stand facing the wall with your feet wide to make you stable. Try to get both hands flat to the wall. If you cannot straighten your fingers, that's OK, try to get your palms as flat as you can. Hold here for 15 seconds. To progress, step further away from the wall and hold for a further 15 seconds. Please ensure that whilst doing this exercise you are pain free.