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General Rehab Exercises

helping patients to manage their muscle and joint problems

Exercises to Improve your fitness

Below are a series of exercises which aim to improve your muscle strength and joint movement.

They are provided in 3 different levels of difficulty. 

These exercises are provided to support the exercises provided within the MSK assist app. If you feel that the exercises you have been provided are too difficult or have become too easy, try the exercises below to find the level that suits you. 

Important Information

  • The exercises provided are intended for your personal use and for informational purposes only.
  • Stop the exercises if they make your symptoms worse or cause new pain.
  • Exercise is not without its risks and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. They include but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting, disorders of heartbeat and very rare instances of heart attack.
  • To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult a healthcare provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation.
  • MSKnote disclaims any liability from and in connection with the information and exercises provided on this website. 
  • The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

Basic Level Exercises

Seated heel raises

While seated, raise up onto your toes as you lift your heels off the ground. Hold for 5 secs.
Repeat for 30 secs
The aim is to do 3-5 sets.

Seated knee extension

Sitting with your back well supported and your feet flat on the floor. Contract you quad/thigh muscles of one leg and straighten your leg. Keep your toes pointing upwards. Once your leg is straight hold for 5 secs and then return to the start position.
Repeat for 30 secs.
The aim is to do 3-5 sets.

Bridge - double leg

While lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, tighten your lower abdominals, squeeze your buttocks and then raise your buttocks off the floor or bed as creating a ‘Bridge’ with your body.
Hold for 5 secs and then lower yourself and repeat for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Lumbar lateral flexion

Standing with feet shoulder width apart and hands by your side. Slowly move one hand down your leg towards your knee. You should feel. stretch in your opposite side.
Hold this stretch for 20/30 seconds before returning to standing.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Shoulder flexion (wall slide)

Stand facing a wall and place both hands on the wall. Stand close enough to the wall to ensure your elbows are bent. Use your fingers to walk up the wall as far as you can. Walk your fingers back down to the start position.
Repeat the exercise 5 times.
The aim is to be 3-5 sets.

Fist - with resistance

Hold the putty/towel in the palm of your hand. now grip the putty/towel bending your fingers into the putty/towel as far as you can.
Hold for 5/10 secs. Return to original position and repeat for 30 secs.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Balance (feet together)

Perform this exercise beside something solid (wall, table, worktop) to hold onto if you loose balance.
Stand with two feet together and raise arms outwards to help maintain your balance.
Once you feel you are balanced, close you eyes to make the exercise more difficult.
Try to remain balancing for 10-20 seconds.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Moderate Level Exercises

Double leg calf raise

While standing, raise up onto your toes as you lift your heels off the ground.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Sit to stand (chair)

Start by scooting close to the front of the chair. Next, lean forward at your trunk and reach forward with your arms and rise to standing without using your hands to push off from the chair or other object. Return to sitting.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Hip abduction - Standing

Standing up tall holding onto a sturdy object like a chair or resting your hands on a wall. Raise one leg up and lift it out, laterally away from your body. Pause, and then return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Standing - lumbar flexion

Standing with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly roll/bend forward and slide your hands down your legs, towards your feet, until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
Hold this stretch for 5-10 seconds before returning to standing.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.

Shoulder abduction with weight

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
Hold on to a weight in the arm to be exercised.
Lift arm outwards and as arm reaches 90 degrees allow arm to rotate so palm faces forward.
Control the lowering action of the arm back to the start position.
Exercise can be progressed by using a heavier weight.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Thumb pincer putty squeeze

Rest your arm on a table. Hold the putty in your hand with your palm facing upwards. Push your thumb into the putty and towards the tip of your little finger. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Aim to do 3-5 sets.

Two leg balance - on cushion

Perform this exercise beside something solid (wall, table, worktop) to hold onto if you loose balance.
Stand with two feet together on a towel/ cushion and raise arms outwards to help maintain your balance.
Try to remain balanced for 10-20 seconds.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Advanced Level Exercises

Single leg heel raises

While standing on one leg, raise up onto your toes as you lift your heel off the ground.
Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Step ups

Using the bottom step of your stairs, step up with your affected leg followed by your unaffected leg. Step back with your affected leg followed by your unaffected leg.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
Do 3-5 sets.30 secs.

The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Marching on the spot

Start in a standing position, march in place lifting knees up to a comfortable level, at a pace that you can control with good balance.
Do 3 sets of 30 seconds each.

One leg balance

Stand on one leg and maintain your balance. Maintain a slightly bent knee on the stance side.
Hold and maintain your balance for 20/30 seconds.
Repeat 3-5 times.

Wall push up

Standing at a wall, place your arms out in front of you with your elbows straight so that your hands just reach the wall. Next, bend your elbows slowly to bring your chest closer to the wall. Maintain your feet planted on the ground the entire time.
Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

Active elbow flexion with weight

Start with arms relaxed at sides and palms facing forward with weights in hand. Curl arms up with palms facing towards shoulders until you cannot curl any further.
Repeat the exercise for 30 secs.
The goal is to do 3-5 sets.

How can videos help me?

The videos complement the information provided by MSK assist. Through carrying out the principles discussed in the videos with the helpful advice, exercises and tools in MSK assist, will allow you to effectively manage a range of common MSK conditions.

What next?

Follow this simple 3 stage journey to access useful advice.

  • Click "let's Begin' button to visit the body chart page to find the affected area
  • Select a condition
  • Enter your email address for instructions on how to get advice via the free MSK assist app