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Strengthening Exercises

Strong muscles are vital to maintaining and improving functional ability. Individuals can strengthen muscles no matter their stage of PD or ability level. Strength training can take the form of lifting weights, using machines at the gym, or using your own body weight for resistance -- even using common household items like a milk jug filled with sand.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend the following guidelines for everyone:

  • Perform at least one set of each exercise, 10-15 times 

  • Do strengthening exercises 2-3 days a week - switch up which muscles you work on, alternating each day

At minimum, a strengthening program should include the following muscles which are common strength challenges in PD:

  • Core muscles (abdominals)

  • Thigh muscles (quadriceps)

  • Buttocks (glutarals)

  • Back muscles

  • Back of the arm muscles (triceps)

Strengthening Tips:
  • Stop any exercise that causes pain

  • Concentrate on good posture and form while exercising

  • Keep movements smooth and even

  • Do not grip hand weights too tightly

  • Do not hold your breath - breathe evenly throughout each exercise

Additional Strengthening Exercises Resources:
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