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Easy Everyday Exercises

man exercising with walking stick - standing
Stick exercises - Standing

This set is predominantly for the shoulders, but will also impact muscles and tendons in the arms, back, chest and neck. I use a walking stick, but any pole of a similar length will do, even a golf club. If you can, stand in front of a mirror. This has nothing to do with self-appreciation - it is so that you can watch your actions to make sure the body and head don't move around too much.

1. Standing with feet together, grasp the stick near the ends and hold it horizontally in front of the body at its lowest point, palms facing behind, arms straight. Now, bend the elbows, drawing the stick up close to the body towards the chest while keeping the wrists locked, just like lifting a bar-bell without the weight. Go up as far as you can until the tension starts to feel uncomfortable, then lower. Watch yourself and avoid tipping your head forward.

man exercising with walking stick - standing

2. With the stick at its lowest point, keep the arms straight and swing out in front of your body and up until you are stretching as high as you can go, then reverse the swing. This one is great practice for the Mexican Wave!

man exercising with walking stick - standing

3. With the stick down low, turn the right hand and grip with the palm facing forward - leave the left hand as it is. Now, keeping the stick and left arm close, push across the body, swinging the right hand sideways and up until it is high above your head (a bit like an ordinary wave). Return to the low point for a count of one.
Reverse the procedure to exercise the left shoulder.

man exercising with walking stick - standing

4. Transfer the stick behind you and grip just outside the hips with palms facing back. Bend at the elbows to raise the stick close to the body and as high as you can.
Try not to lean backwards.

5. With the stick still behind and in the low position, keep arms straight and swing out and back as far as you can. Avoid leaning forwards.

6. No illustration for this next one, but try thinking about it like a backward shrug. Holding the stick down, rotate shoulders back and try to revolve the shoulder blades first outward, then together. Relax and repeat.

Lucky Last
Hooray!! These are mainly waist exercises which also help the shoulders and strengthen the knees.
man exercising with walking stick - standing

Waist twists.
Stand with feet apart and knees slightly bent. Position the stick behind your back and hook each end in the crook of your elbow (a bit like they used to do with prisoners in olden times, except your hands won't be tied!).
Find something low and directly in front that you can keep your eye on - this ensures minimal movement of the head and neck. Now, twist at the waist, to point each end of the stick in turn at whatever you are focussing on. If you can manage it, do at least twenty double twists.

Waist side-bends.
Keeping the same stance, bend at the waist from side to side, stretching as far down as you can go. Left stretch, right stretch is a count of one.
Repeat this exercise twenty times if possible.

Please Note:
When doing any exercise no matter how simple, be mindful of what your body is telling you. Pain and discomfort are warnings that should not be ignored. Nerve and muscle twinges, or the clicking of joints are often signs that there is either an existing problem, or the actions necessary to perform a particular exercise need adjusting. If you have been told by a medical practitioner to avoid certain movements or activities, heed the advice. Like us, they are only trying to keep you fit and healthy.

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