Upper Body Exercises

  • Wrist curls

  • Arm curls

  • Side arm raises

  • Elbow extensions

  • Chair dips

  • Seated rows with resistance band

Lower Body Exercises

  • Back leg raises

  • Knee curls

  • Leg straightening exercises

  • Toe stands

What to Use and How to Start?


To do most of these strength exercises, you need to lift or push weights.

You can use weights, resistance bands, or common objects from your home.

Or, you can use the strength-training equipment at a fitness center or gym.

Start with light weights (1- 2 lbs.) and gradually increase the amount of weight you use.

Starting out with weights that are too heavy can cause injury.

If you can't lift or push a weight 8 times in a row, it's too heavy for you, and you should reduce the amount of weight.

How Much, How Often?


Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week for 30 minutes at a time, but don't exercise the same muscle group on any 2 days in a row. Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle-building exercises, at least at first. After doing these exercises for a few weeks, you will probably not be sore after your workout.

Lifting Weights


When using weights, take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight into place, hold the position for 1 second, and take another 3 seconds to return to your starting position. Don't let the weight drop; returning it slowly is very important.

Breathe out as you lift or push a weight and breathe in as you relax.

Don't hold your breath during strength exercises. This could affect your blood pressure, especially if you have heart disease.

Use smooth, steady movements to bring weights into position. Avoid jerking or thrusting movements.

Building Strength

To build strength, gradually increase the amount of weight you use. Start out with a weight you can lift only 8 times. Use that weight until you can lift it easily 10 to 15 times. When you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily, add more weight so that, again, you can lift it only 8 times. Repeat until you reach your goal.

Safety Tips

Avoid locking the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position. To straighten your knee, tighten your thigh muscles. This will lift your kneecaps and protect them.


If you are starting an exercise program or your arms feel tired after several repetitions, complete the exercise by using one arm at a time. Alternate sides, and then work your way up to using both arms at the same time.


If it’s difficult to hold hand weights properly, try using wrist weights.


For exercises that require a chair, choose one that is sturdy and stable enough to support your weight when seated or when holding on during the exercise.


Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise, especially if you’ve had hip or back surgery.