Fibromyalgia affects 1-3% of our population and commonly affects women. With Fibromyalgia, we want to focus primarily on strengthening the larger muscle groups in order to build strength throughout the entire body. This strength will then consequently help ease our daily living.
The exercises that we recommend below are all based on the research article in 2015 titled, “Arthritis Research and Therapy”. In this article, test subjects reported an improvement in pain, overall health status, leg strength, and upper body strength after completing the prescribed exercises. They did the program for 15 weeks, going through the exercises twice a week. The exercise routine takes approximately 50 minutes, starting off with a 10-minute warm-up exercise, such as an easy walk around the block, and finishing with a 10-minute stretch.
It is important to take note of the recommended sets and repetitions, the intensity of the exercises, and the frequency of completing the routine. It is best to start at a level that is sustainable and gradually build your endurance over the 15 weeks. If you start at a level that is too intense, you could flare up your Fibromyalgia and worsen your condition.
- Baseline level: Start off with 40% of your maximum effort level, with 1-2 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
- After 2-3 weeks, progress to 60% of your maximum effort level, with 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions
- After 6-8 weeks, progress to 80% of your maximum effort level, with 1-2 sets of 5-8 repetitions
Contributing Factors to Injuries and Fibromyalgia:
- Sleep – Sleep plays a huge role in injury recovery, and often Fibromyalgia pain impacts your sleep quality.
- Stress – This includes emotional stress, financial stress, and personal stressors.
- Food – When you are in pain, you often turn to comfort foods that are likely not the healthiest for you and your Fibromyalgia. This can cause additional inflammation in the body.
- Weather – Rapid changes in temperature, cold weather conditions, and humidity can often cause Fibromyalgia flare-ups and exasperate symptoms.
#1 – Tubing Leg Press
Begin in an upright sitting position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Loop the resistant tubing under one foot and hold a tubing handle in each hand. Lift your knee, then extend your leg in front of your body. Repeat the movement.
Tubing Leg Press
The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the leg muscles.
#2 – Leg Extension With Hold
Begin in an upright sitting position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Contract your core, slightly lift your knee, then extend your leg in front of your body, ideally to be parallel to the ground. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
Leg Extension With Hold
The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the quadriceps.
#3 – Tubing Leg Curls
Begin in an upright sitting position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Loop the middle of resistant tubing around your ankle and anchor the tubing under your opposite foot. Bend your knee back, then bring your foot forward to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement.
Tubing Leg Curls
The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the hamstrings.
#4 – Tubing Shoulder Press
Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor, maintaining good alignment in your upper body. Loop the resistant tubing under both feet and hold an end of the tubing in each hand at shoulder-height. Contract your core and press both arms overhead. Lower your arms back down to shoulder height and repeat the movement.
Tubing Shoulder Press
#5 – Tubing Chest Press
Begin in an upright sitting position with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the floor. Maintain good alignment in your upper body. Loop the resistant tubing behind your upper back and hold the ends of the tubing to create resistance. Extend your arms out front at chest-height. Retract your arms to return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Tubing Chest Press