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Ask your doctor about your post-stroke limitations
BEFORE you start an exercise program!


Exercising at home is be a good choice if you have the right tools on hand for an effective workout and can stay motivated.

Here are tools we recommend:


Your kitchen sink. Holding on to your kitchen sink is a good way to support yourself for squats and pushups. Use the stability of the sink to help you maintain good form for these exercises.

Stairs. Walking up and down stairs is one of the best exercises for strengthening the leg muscles. Put the ball of your foot on a stair and allow the heel to lower below the plane of the riser for a calf stretch.

Kitchen timer. Many exercises call for multiple repetitions. A timer can help keep track of how long you have been performing each move. A timer will also tell you long you have been holding a stretch. If you have aphasia and need practice speaking, forget the timer and count out loud or count by fives.


Hand weights. A set of hand weights in different sizes is a great tool. Start with 1-2 pound weights for shoulder exercises. Add heavier (5-8 pound weights) for larger muscles like biceps. Strap-on weights, designed for adding resistance to leg exercises, are a good choice for working out a weak arm where the hand cannot hold a regular weight.
Hint: Soup cans or bottles of water are a good substitute for weights.

Fitness tubes. These elastic tubes with handles are an economical and useful tool for exercising at home.

Dyna band. These stretchy bands are similar to fitness tubes but are easier to tie around the legs to add resistance to leg exercises.


Treadmill. Having a treadmill or exercise bike at home for your cardio workout means it's more convenient to use it on a regular basis. But make sure it doesn't turn into a clothes rack!

Ballet bar. Installing a stable bar or railing is a great idea, if you have the space. Hold on to the bar for squats, pushups, leg exercises and balance challenges.

Massage table. Exercises and stretches that are usually done on the floor, are easier to access on a higher surface like a massage table.


Fitball. If you have the space, having a fit ball at home is an excellent idea. Many people sit on one regularly while they watch TV or work at a computer. Sitting and balancing on a fit ball engages core muscles for strengthening and improves balance.

Yoga strap. Using a yoga strap when you stretch facilitates greater range of motion and helps isolate the target muscles.

Foam roller. Foam rollers can be used as a balance training tool. They are also an excellent aid for self massage of the upper and lower back, calf, hamstring, glutes and quads.