Hi Margarette! I use soft cloth dumbells that attach to the wrist or arm by velcro straps. There are 3 lb and 5 lb weights available like this, but you may have to search high and low to find them as most stores do not carry them. I got them at Sears. I also bought these weighted fingerless gloves -can you see the pattern here -my fingers are toast and don't grip very well. I got most from Sears and one from Wal Mart. If you shadow box with the weighted gloves, it really gives your upper body a great workout, as well as your lower which has to stand strong and steady in order to throw punches. Also abs must be tightened. My favorite workout is kickboxing and I do DVD's as well as live classes, that is inbetween surgeries and recovery times. Good luck with it! Linda
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Light weights, resistance bands or even weighted gloves could help. If that doesn't work well for you try a weighted belt or vest to add a little more challenge.
The one thing I did before starting with weights is doing body weight and isometric exercises that only require the body (there are a lot of great exercises on the strength training fitness exercise page) like wall pushups, squats, calf raises, seated leg lifts, etc. Now I'm using light weight dumbbells, resistance bands, weighted belt, stability ball, etc.
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I started very light with 2 lb. dumbbells made for walking with, from WalMart. They have a fabric band that holds my palm to the grip bar, so perfect for my RA deformed and weakened hands. I think similar larger ones are available, tho may need be sent for on line. I don't walk with them, just do regular dumbbell exercises. Now my hands are strong enuff to use regular 3 lb. dumbbells, and sometimes I manage 5 lb. ones for certain exercises. It is hard for us with hand issues, tho - you don't want to increase the damage. I think the band helps with that.
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To start with weights, sometimes a soup can is the perfect thing to use. Or, a plastic coke bottle filled with sand. They are bigger around, and it's easier to keep a grip on them. Plus, they are not heavy. It's the perfect thing to use to start.
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