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Check Out These Simple, Effective Exercises for Bradykinesia

Posted on August 30, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D.
Article written by
Torrey Kim

Check out this video to understand an exercise called “the scarf snatch,” designed to help people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) improve their fine-motor control. During the video, PD Warrior founder Melissa McConaghy and head online coach Jason King demonstrate exactly what benefits people with PD can gain from these exercises.

Watch the previous workout Watch the next workout

If you’ve experienced bradykinesia (slow movements) among the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, you might benefit from performing some simple exercises that can help you improve your dexterity and agility.

To help spark your exercise journey, MyParkinsonsTeam has partnered with PD Warrior, an organization that specializes in providing rehabilitative exercise programs to people with Parkinson’s disease. These low-impact exercises can help you increase stamina and gain more strength.

Last week’s installment introduced this six-part series and showed you how you can warm up before jumping into a new exercise program. This week, you’ll learn to perform the scarf snatch, designed to help you improve fine motor control.

Consider these steps before you work through the video:

  • If you aren’t accustomed to exercising, check with your physician first.
  • If your doctor gives you clearance, it is suggested that you warm up prior to exercising and stretch after you complete your session.
  • Try to engage in exercise three times per week.
  • Feeling some muscle soreness following exercise is normal.
  • Maintaining hydration, stretching, and warming up can help combat muscle soreness.

Below are the written steps of the video exercises. You can write them down or print them for reference:

  • Start by finding a scarf or other lightweight fabric item you can hold (such as a paper towel).
  • Stand on the floor with one foot in front of the other, holding the scarf at your side in your right hand.
  • Swiftly reach your right arm up as high as possible toward the ceiling, letting go of the scarf as you raise your arm.
  • Swiftly swing your right arm downward and catch the scarf as you return your arm to its resting position at your side.
  • While still holding the scarf, stretch your right arm behind you and hold it in place for several seconds.
  • After several repetitions, add your left arm to the movement — as you finish the exercise above and hold your right arm out behind you, reach your left arm forward and hold it out at chest height.
  • After about 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise, switch the scarf to your left hand and do 10 to 12 more with the left hand leading.
  • Try to do the exercise three or four times a week, and do 10 to 12 repetitions on each side if possible.

If you can’t do the exercise more than a few times, that’s OK — you can work your way up to the recommended repetitions over time.

To better tailor the exercises to your specific needs, consider taking the What Type of Parkinson’s Do You Have? quiz from PD Warrior.

About PD Warrior

PD Warrior offers in-person and online regular, targeted, and personalized exercise programs to help reduce parkinsonian symptoms — from the comfort and privacy of your home.

PD Warrior’s signature 10 Week Challenge is the leading exercise rehabilitation program for people with Parkinson’s. Designed by renowned neurophysiotherapist Melissa McConaghy, the 10 Week Challenge is tailored to suit the individual needs of participants and their specific types of Parkinson’s. This rehab program will make you move, stretch, and sweat, but most of all, you will feel good. Find out more about the 10 Week Challenge.

PD Warrior’s online gym offers the option to join an intimate group, one-to-one private coaching sessions, or a combination of both. No matter what you choose, you will be training with an experienced PD Warrior coach who will work to your ability and provide exercises specific to your Parkinson’s. Find out more about PD Warrior.

Find Your Team

Through MyParkinsonsTeam, you can join an online social network for those living with Parkinson’s disease. In doing so, you will gain access to a social support group of people who are facing similar challenges and understand what you are going through. Start a new conversation on MyParkinsonsTeam.

Disclaimer: The exercises provided by PD Warrior are general in nature and are not to be interpreted as a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Risks include and are not limited to injury, aggravation of a preexisting condition, or adverse effect of overexertion, such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting, loss of balance, falls, disorders of heartbeat, and rare instances of a heart attack.

To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult your health care provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for an individual consultation. PD Warrior and MyHealthTeams disclaim any liability from and in connection with this program. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel dizzy or faint, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult with a physician. Please see your health professional immediately, if you suspect you may be ill or injured.

Evelyn O. Berman, M.D. is a neurology and pediatric specialist and treats disorders of the brain in children. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about her here.
Torrey Kim is the managing editor at MyHealthTeams and has over a decade of experience writing about medical conditions. Learn more about her here.

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