10 best strength training exercises for MS

When it comes to treating multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks nerve cells, strength training changes the game. Benefits include increased muscle strength, balance, mobility, and the ability to do anything you want, says Alison Lichy, TPD, a board certified specialist in clinical neurological physiotherapy. in Falls Church, Virginia, and spokesman for the American. Physiotherapy Association.

To help you reap these rewards, we asked the experts which strength movements they recommend most and how they can be tailored to your body and needs. Read the rest of the exercises, then share them with your neurologist.

How to Use This List

Try to include three or four of these exercises in your daily routine once you’ve received clearance. You can do one or two exercises at a time. In fact, doing small exercises throughout the day can often feel better in the body than exercising for an hour and staying relatively seated and fighting more effectively for the other 23 hours. Fatigue and reduces the risk of spikes. Your body temperature, which may make MS symptoms temporarily worse.

Best of all, many of these exercises can be done at home using just your body weight or simple equipment like a resistance band.

Exercise #1: Bird Dog

Exercises on all fours (known as the four-legged position) are great for training the postural muscles in people with MS, says Lichy. This movement strengthens your entire core, including your glutes, hips, abs, and deep abs that support your spine to help you maintain better balance and posture.

While the bird dog is suitable for all skill levels, it must crouch and get up from the ground. If this is difficult for you, try doing the exercise in the middle of your bed. The soft surface of the mattress increases the force with which the abdominal muscles work to prevent it from tipping over.

How to: Bird Dog

Start on all sides, with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Activate your abs, keep your spine neutral, and look down or slightly forward.

Raise your left arm and extend your right leg until they are in line with the rest of your body. Pause, then lower your back and repeat on the other side with your right arm and leg extended. He is a representative. Do two or three sets for a total of six to eight reps, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise #2: Sit-to-Stand

This exercise is extremely important to maintaining your independence because it simulates real-world activities that are often challenging for people with multiple sclerosis, says Ashley Davis, CPT, trainer at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois. In particular, it improves your ability to sit in a chair, sofa or even a toilet and get up without assistance.

Your ability to make this move can change from day to day. If you need to use a stick, walker, or piece of furniture to get around in this exercise, that’s fine. Focus on what you can do now and it may get easier with time.

How to: Sit-to-Stand

Stand in front of a sturdy chair or sofa with your feet hip and shoulder width apart. Keep your arms straight at shoulder level and support your core.

From there, slowly bend your knees and push your hips back to lower your body into the chair. Take a break, then press your heels and metatarsus to stand up. He is a representative. Aim for two to three sets of 10 total repetitions, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between sets. Try to resist the urge to fall or slump into the chair.

Exercise #3: Glute Bridge

This exercise strengthens the hips and core for better balance without the need for balance, Lichy says. Done while lying down, it is low-impact and can be carried out on the floor, a bed or even on the sofa.

For extra strength, try performing the glute bridge with a resistance band tied around the thighs just above the knees. During the exercise, press down on the band so your knees do not come together.

How to: Glute Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, around your hips. Place your heels a few inches from your buttocks. Put your arms on the floor to support and support your core.

Lift your heels up, squeeze your butt muscles, and lift your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Take a break, then slowly go down. He is an actor. Aim for two or three sets of 10 times, and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

You want to feel this exercise mainly on your glutes. If your quads are on fire, move your feet forward a little. Do your hamstrings feel it? Bring those feet closer.

Exercise #4: Single-Leg Stand

This exercise is easy, but not easy, Davis says, explaining that one-legged balance work is essential for maintaining mobility and walking strength (shifting weight from one leg to the other). and again.

Over time, the goal is to be able to perform this exercise without holding onto a stick or firm surface for balance. However, start with the support you need to be comfortable. A counter is probably the most sturdy option as there is no way it can tip over like a stick.

How to: Single-Leg Stand

Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. If necessary, hold onto the wall or other sturdy furniture to keep your balance. From there, raise a foot an inch off the ground while keeping your torso straight and not leaning towards the planted foot. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds, then put your foot back on the floor. Repeat on the other leg. Make five stops on each leg.

Exercise #5: Stationary Lunge

Ankles, knees, and hips often lose strength and mobility in MS, Lichy says. This exercise not only strengthens you, but gives you a full range of motion. Why it’s good: It prevents your joints from feeling blocked and reduces the risk of injury on the road, she says.

Before adding this movement to your routine, make sure you feel strong and confident doing one-legged stops as it requires more balance. Begin this exercise while holding on to a wall, counter, or other sturdy object before moving on to your free hands.

How to: Stationary Lunge

You should stand up straight with your arms at your side. Step back with your right foot, place your toes on the floor, and keep your heel up. From this offset position, bend your front (left) knee to slowly lower your body as far as possible. Also, let your back knee bend until it is a few inches off the floor, but keep your weight on your front heel.

Take a break, then step on your forefoot to get your body back on your feet. He is a representative. Do eight to 10 repetitions, then switch sides and repeat. Aim for a total of two to three sets and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise #6: Clamshell

Many popular strength training exercises train back and forth motions, such as: B. lunges, but it is also important to work the body from side to side. This is where this exercise comes in: it strengthens the outer hips to increase stability and healthy movement through the joint, Lichy says.

You can do this exercise without equipment or with a resistance band rolled right over your knees for added challenge. Either way, focus on using your glutes instead of swing or swing to energize each move. You should feel a small but strong burning sensation on the side of your buttocks.

How to: Clamshell

Lie on your side with your legs together and your knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Keep your hips stable and the top of your foot lowered. Just lift your upper knee as high as you can. Your legs should mimic the opening of a clam. Lower your knee to the starting position. He is a representative. Do 10 to 12 repetitions and repeat on the other side. Do a total of two to three sets and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise #7: Resistance-Band Row

Your back is home to the largest muscles in your upper body, as well as a group of small muscles that, when weak, can change your posture, cause back pain, and limit upper body mobility. Row is a great way to strengthen those muscles while touching your arms, Davis says.

This variation uses a resistance band that allows you to do each rep from a standing position while working on balance and core strength. If you have trouble keeping your balance, you can anchor the bracelet to a secure object closer to the floor and do the exercise from a sitting position.

How to: Resistance-Band Row

Wrap a resistance band around a sturdy bar or hook at navel level. Hold one end in each hand and stand in front of the anchor so that the tape is tight and your arms are straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows back to bring the band to your sides. Take a break, then slowly come back to start. He is a representative. Aim for two or three sets of 10-12 repetitions, resting for 30-60 seconds between sets.

No way to anchor your group? Try a variation of a chair with your legs stretched out in front of you and wrap the tape around the soles of your feet.

Exercise #8: Standing Leg Lift

This more advanced exercise combines the benefits of one-legged flaps and supports, and is great for anyone who feels like you’ve mastered the first two, says Lichy.

Just try your body weight at first, then you can do it with a resistance band wrapped around your thighs just above your knees. Stand within easy reach of a piece of furniture or sturdy counter, wall, so you can catch up if you lose your balance. This is especially important when your legs are together.

How to: Standing Leg Lift

Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. If necessary, hold onto the wall or other sturdy furniture to keep your balance. Transfer your weight to one foot and slightly lift the opposite foot off the floor. Keep the raised leg straight and lift it to the side as far as possible. Stop, then lower your foot to touch the ground. He is a representative. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times, then switch sides and repeat the exercise. Aim for a total of two to three sets and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise #9: Resistance-Band Shoulder Press

Shoulder presses are great for improving upper body strength and function, says Davis. While you can do this with free weights, this variation uses a long resistance band to eliminate the need to keep the weight tight and the risk of one falling on your head.

How to: Resistance-Band Shoulder Press

Place a resistance band on the floor and stand in the center with your feet hip and shoulder width apart. Hold one end of the ribbon in each hand and place your hands in front of your shoulders with your palms facing forward and your elbows facing the floor. Strengthen your core and bend your knees slightly.

From there, without arching your lower back, place your hands on top of your head. Take a break, then slowly lower your hands onto your shoulders. He is a representative. Aim for two or three sets of eight to 10 total repetitions and rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Exercise #10: Standing Wood Chop

This advanced full-body exercise trains your ability to maintain balance as you change direction and focus, Davis says. At the same time, it strengthens the muscles of the trunk, legs and shoulders.

Only master this movement pattern with your body weight before you hold a weight (e.g. a medicine ball, a dumbbell, a soup can or a loaded backpack) with both hands.

How to: Standing Wood Chop

Stand with feet that are wider than shoulder width and bend your knees slightly. When using a weight, hold it with both hands. Bend your knees and twist your torso to keep the weight (or empty hands) off your left knee. Fix your eyes on the weight and focus on it throughout the movement.

Inhale as you lift the weight diagonally across your body, ending with your arms above your head turned to the right. Let your feet spin as you spin. Stop, then slowly lower the weight as you bend your knees to return to start. He is a representative. Do six to eight repetitions, then repeat on the other side. Do a total of 2 to 3 or 4 sets.

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