The exercise I am introducing today addresses my affected side & works my ENTIRE LEG & FOOT. As I mentioned in my Daily Accomplishments Blog under “Getting To Know Me” (11/15/18), I am doing Chair Raise-Ups daily now to get my right leg to move up & down as much as possible. It also helps the foot to feel the flatness of the surface below it & the ankle to bend completely forward & backward. (Here’s what I said last month: In the time since my stroke, I have accomplished walking. I started out with a walker then a hemi-walker & then moved to a cane. Now at home I rarely use even a cane. I am really trying to firm up my thighs, balance & confidence. Being able to lift my feet onto the floor plank with the cane, at first, was quite an accomplishment, but to now raise my leg so my right foot can rest on a chair is simply remarkable!!)
The reason I like this exercise is that it builds strength and mobility throughout my entire LEG. It really builds the muscle (memory) in my thigh - and that is so important for my walking. Ask Tom - he always reminds when I start to walk to lift my right thigh up to the sky!! Like I’ve said many times before, many post-stroke persons are not limited by actual strength, but by the loss of muscle memory provided by some of the brain’s most elementary functions. Think of these exercises as brain games just as much as strength/mobility activities & you will be on your way to independence in no-time!
If you are just starting out - post-stroke - you will probably need someone to support your movement and help when necessary. As I have said before, even if you have reached the point of physical independence after your stroke, it is still nice to have someone supporting you emotionally and mentally through these exercises.
1. Place a chair in a safe position for you - up against a wall for support. Opposite this make sure your unaffected arm can hold onto a counter for support. This is why I use the bathroom. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY PLACEMENTS IN THE VIDEO I HAVE POSTED on my INSTAGRAM at POSTSTROKEPEG.
2. Lift the affected leg up to clear the chair (pad) & then set your foot down in the center of the chair.
3. Make sure your foot is in the center of the chair. And make sure that you haven’t touched anything while bringing it up.
4. “Lunge” forward to bend your leg completely & then straighten back up.
5. Lower your leg from the chair (without touching the chair) & bring your foot back to the ground.
6. Repeat 10 times when first starting this exercise, gradually working your way up to 15, then 20, then 25 and really (if you’re up for it!) 50.
Be sure to check out my Instagram at “poststrokepeg.” God Bless You, Peg
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.