Exercise and Stroke Rehabilitation (Part 2)

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  • November 19, 2010
Exercises for stroke rehabilitation

The following exercises are for patients only moderately affected by their stroke. They may use a wheelchair to move or they might be able to walk with the aid of another person or using a walking aid. However, patients often “lead” with their unaffected side, leaving the other side behind. Therefore, balance problems are likely to appear along with difficulty shifting weight toward the affected side.

The purpose of this exercise program is to:

  • Promote flexibility and relaxation of muscles
  • Help return to more normal movement
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Decrease pain and stiffness
  • Maintain range of motion in the affected arm and leg

Before beginning with these exercises, please be ensured that your clothing will not restrict movements. It is not necessary to wear shorts such as shown in the illustrations, leisure clothing such as sweat suits or jogging suits is appropriate.

Exercises to enhance shoulder motion and possibly prevent shoulder pain


Lie on your back on a firm bed, and interlace your fingers with your hands resting on your stomach.

Slowly raise your arms to shoulder level, keeping your elbows straight. At last, return your hands to resting position on your stomach.



Another similar exercise will help you to maintain shoulder motion, especially for someone who has difficulty rolling over in bed.

While raising your hand and straightening your elbows, slowly move your hands to one side and then the other.


Exercises to promote motion in the pelvis, hip and knee

Lie on your back on a firm bed and keep your interlaced fingers resting on your stomach.

Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the bed. Holding your knees tightly together and slowly move them as far to the right as possible, return to the center and repeat it by moving them to the left.


Exercises to rise from a sitting position

Sit on a firm chair that has been placed against the wall to prevent slipping.

Interlace your fingers; reach forward with your hands. With your feet slightly apart and your hips at the edge of the seat, lean forward, lifting your hips up slightly from the seat, then slowly return to sitting.


An important thing is to take your time when you exercise. Don’t rush the movements or strain to complete them. If the pain occurs, move only to the point where it begins to hurt. If the pain continues, don’t do this exercise.



  • is their any other exercise for strokes to help movements as my mum stroke effected her left arm and fingers and left leg.

    i have got some movement back her leg by herself in wheelchair but she cant stand by herself i dont think so. we use a stand up machine to move her around to chair and wheelchair.

    i have got some movements in her arm but need help because it is to heavy for her to hold and do exercise for me.

    any exercise will be good that i can try . she not at home but i bring her home every three wks from age care

  • Rosebella says:

    How much do the neuroaid drugs cost in Kenya?are they affordable?

  • Antoine says:

    Dear Linda,

    You will find other sets of exercises on the blog.
    Exercises for the arms and legs to recover mobility after the stroke:
    Hand exercises for stroke patients as well:

    We hope this will help.

  • Antoine says:

    Dear Rosebella,
    As of today, wherever you are in the world, the price for NeuroAiD is the same. One month of treatment is US$488, including shipping fees. The standard 3-month treatment costs US$1,346 including shipping fees.


    thanks for the excersises,may you please send me hand and fingers excersises,my left handside is the weakes one.

  • Sverige says:

    I agree that working several muscles at once is the way to go. In my case, I like to train to become more athletic, and since most movements in sports involve coordinating several parts of the body together, training the core and arms with more complex exercises like the walking plank beats doing crunches ANY day.

  • Deborah says:

    Please can you tell me weight bearing exercises for the hand? Thanks

  • Juarlito Gomez says:

    I am very thankful that there is Stroke Recovery blog. It is very helpful to someone who have stoke

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