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Muscle Conditioning: Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for muscle conditioning. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Wall push-ups

Picture of the wall push-ups exercise
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slide 1 of 4, Wall push-ups,

When you can do this exercise against a wall comfortably (without your muscles feeling tired), you can try it against a counter. Start with 5 repetitions again and work up to 8 to 12. You can then slowly progress to the end of a couch or a sturdy chair, and finally to the floor.

  1. Stand facing a wall, about 30 to 45 centimetres away.
  2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows and bring your face toward the wall, moving your hips and shoulders forward together.
  4. Push slowly back to the starting position.
  5. Start with 5 repetitions and work up to 8 to 12.
  6. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.

Knee extension

Photo of a quadricep strengthening exercise (knee extension)
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slide 2 of 4, Knee extension,

If this exercise becomes easy, you can add a light weight around your ankle or tie an elastic resistance band to a chair leg and one ankle.

  1. While sitting in a chair, straighten one leg and hold while you slowly count to 5. Be sure you do not lock your knee.
  2. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  3. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.
  4. Do the same exercise with the other leg.

Side-lying leg lift

Photo of side-lying leg lift exercise
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slide 3 of 4, Side-lying leg lift,

If this exercise becomes easy, you can add a light weight around your ankle or tie an elastic resistance band to both ankles.

  1. Lie on your side, with your legs extended. Keep your hips straight up and down during this exercise. Do not let your top hip rock toward the back. Support your head with your hand, and place the other hand on the floor near your waist.
  2. Slowly raise your upper leg until it is about in line with your shoulder. Keep your toes pointed forward.
  3. Slowly lower your leg to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  5. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.
  6. Turn to your other side and do the same exercise with your other leg.

Shallow standing knee bends

Picture of shallow standing knee bends
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slide 4 of 4, Shallow standing knee bends,
  1. Stand with your hands lightly resting on a counter or chair in front of you with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees so that you squat down just like you were going to sit in a chair. Make sure your knees do not go in front of your toes.
  3. Lower yourself about 15 centimetres. Your heels should remain on the floor at all times.
  4. Rise slowly to a standing position.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  6. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

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