Arm Exercises

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The following arm exercises are designed to improve the strength of the muscles of the arm. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain. Begin with the basic arm exercises. Once these are too easy, progress to the advanced arm exercises.


Basic Arm Exercises

The following basic arm exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Resistance Band Pull Backs

Begin this arm exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 1). Slowly pull your arms backwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together as demonstrated. Hold for 2 seconds and then return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Arm Exercises - Resistance Band Pull Backs

Figure 1 – Resistance Band Pull Backs

Push Ups

Begin this arm exercise in the push up position as demonstrated (figure 2). Keeping your back and neck straight, slowly straighten your elbows until they are straight, then return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free. If this is too difficult, the exercise can be performed on knees instead.

Arm Exercises - Push Ups

Figure 2 – Push Ups

Resistance Band Abduction

Begin this arm exercise standing with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 3). Slowly raise your arm out to the side until it is level with your shoulder, keeping your elbow and back straight. Then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side provided the exercise is pain free.

Arm Exercises - Resistance Band Abduction

Figure 3 – Resistance Band Abduction (left side)



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