Stroke recovery exercises - Green group - Week 4 Flexibility

This set of exercises are for the fourth week of our four-week stroke recovery exercise programme. It focuses on improving your flexibility and is aimed at stroke survivors who are in the green group. This group are independently mobile.

 

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 clear space on the floor. 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: OK, Green Group. This is your flexibility activity for your warm up. So what you need to be doing is you will be standing with a nice, strong, stable base of support with feet shoulder width apart. From here, we're going to march on the spot with high knees at the same time, we're going to warm up our shoulders up and down, like so. We're gonna do this for 60 seconds when you're ready. Here we go. And let's start. So high knees and raise those arms above your head. You may feel a little bit stiff. That's totally fine. Ease yourself into it and try and get your knees higher as time goes by. You may feel a little bit out of breath already. Perfectly normal. Control your breathing. This is you warm up. Keep doing what you're doing. We are halfway there. Keep going. Well done. Doing great. Nice and easy for your warm up. Keep those arms nice and high if you can. Full body warm up. Loosen up all the joints. Getting your heart rate going and warming up the muscles. Not long left now. Here we go. Five more seconds. Three, two, one. And relax. Keep yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching points for this activity that we've just shown you.

 

Craig: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. March with high knees whilst raising your arms above your heads and keep going for one minute.

 

Mark: OK Green Group. This is your first exercise for your flexibility activities. So what you wanna do, you wanna be standing once again, feet shoulder width apart, nice and firm and stable with your base of support. What you want to do next, Okay, is going to focus on our breathing as we try and stretch out our whole body. So from this position, we're going to breathe out, and as you breathe in, we're going to raise our arms to the ceiling. And breathe out there. On the next breath in, we're going to tilt your head back and stretch back with, like so and breathe out. Another breath in. And as we breathe out now, we're gonna come right down to the floor as low as you can and hold onto your ankles or your feet and hold yourself there. Deep breath in. Breathe out. On the next breath in, you're gonna bring yourself up to your thighs. You're gonna stick your bum out and you're going to stretch your chest out. And breathe out and breathe in. As we breathe out, we're going to slide back down and hold that stretch. Just maintain your breathing now When you're ready, we're going to come back up into the start position. Relax yourself and we're going to do that one more time. So again, nice deep breaths. Nice and controlled. So deep breath in as we raise our arms to the ceiling. And breathe out. Next breath in we tilt our head up and lean back. And breathe out. As we breathe in and breathe out, we go back down to the floor, feeling that stretch. Deep breath in again and breathe out. As you breathe back in, we're going to bring yourself back up to our thighs again. Rest ourselves there, stick our bum out, stretch the chest and control your breathing. Deep breath in. And on the next breath, let's go back down and let's hold it there. 10 seconds. Focus on your breathing, five, four, three, two, one and slowly bring yourself back up to the starting position. Give yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching point for this activity that we've just shown you.

 

Craig: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Breathe in and raise arms above your head, tilt your body back slightly to fill the stretch along your chest and tummy. As you breathe out, fall forwards by bending at the hips and allow your arms to hang near your feet or hold onto your ankles for support. Hold here and take two breaths. Feel that stretch along your back. Slide your hands to just above your knees, stick your bottom out and lift your head. You will feel your back lengthening. Fall forwards again and take two breaths. Slowly come back up to the start position.

 

Mark: OK, Green Group. This is your second activity for your flexibility. So you'll be standing once again, feet shoulder width apart, nice and stable with your base of support. What you gonna do, you gonna side step out of the right and then you're going to take a small step forward. With the leading foot, you're going to turn the foot out to the side a little bit. And from there we're gonna lunge into that leg where you're going to feel the stretch down the inside of your opposite leg. We're gonna hold that now for 15 seconds. Here we go. Use your arm if you like to support yourself, but just keep that leg straight and feel the stretch. Keep holding it there. Well done. You are going to feel this in this leg as well. Few more seconds and well done. Staying in this position, we're gonna raise the opposite arm up overhead, and we're gonna lean over now for another 15 seconds. Here we go. So now we're stretching out the side of our body. Here we go, well done. This is quite challenging, keep it up. Just a few more seconds to go. And relax. Bring yourself back down to the middle. Nice and controlled. And we're gonna do the same on the other leg. So with your left leg now, take a step out, take a step forward. That that leading leg turn your foot outwards slightly and lunge into it. Feel the stretch down the opposite leg. Hold it there for 15 seconds. Here we go. Support yourself if needed. Feel that stretch down the inside of your leg. Keep it going. Well done. Just a few more seconds. And relax. Same again. Opposite hand up and lean yourself over. Stretching out the side of your back. And 15 seconds. Here we go. Keep it going, nearly done. Keep that stretch. Really feel it. Loosening yourself up. Few more seconds. Here we go. And relax. Well done. Give yourself a few moments now to go through the coaching points of this activity that we have just shown you.

 

Craig: Take one leg out to the side and bring it slightly forward. Turn your front foot out to the side. Lunge forward into your front leg and feel the stretch alongside the inside of your back leg. Raise your opposite arm above your head and lean over towards your front leg. Hold for 15 seconds. And then repeat on the opposite side.

 

Mark: OK. Green Group. This is your last exercise for your flexibility. That's what you need to do is get yourself safely on the floor. Starting on your knees. From here, you're gonna get yourself onto all fours, placing your hands on the floor and bringing your knees back. You must ensure that you have your shoulders directly above your hands so that you are not taking the weight into your joints. It's going into your shoulder. So you're nice and firm. From here, you're going to focus on bringing your back or your spine to the ceiling and giving it a nice arch. Just like so. From that position, you're gonna come back to the middle, like so. And then you're gonna arch your back and tilt your head up like so. And then you're gonna go back to the position, like this. We're gonna do that five seconds each time. Here we go. So, arch your back up. Big stretch. One, two, three, four, five, back in the middle. And arch your back up, one, two, three, four, five, back in the middle. And arch up, one, two, three, four, five, back in the middle. And arch your back. Stick your bum out. One, two, three, four, five, back in the middle. One more time. And one, two, three, four, five, back in the middle. Last one: one, two, three, four, five. From this position, bring your hands forward. Keep your knees where you are and fall back into your bum, stretching out your shoulders and your back and fall backwards. Hold this for 10 seconds. Here we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and 10. Bring yourself back up. Bring your arms back and relax. Give yourself a moment there to go through the coaching points for this activity we have just shown you.

 

Craig: Get safely on your hands and knees on the floor. Ensure your shoulders are in line with your wrists and that your hips are in line with your knees. Round your back, moving your spine towards the ceiling and hold for five seconds. Now arch your back, taking your tummy towards the floor and hold for five seconds. Repeat this three times.