Seated Forward Curls

Seated Forward Curls

*As always, check with your Doctor before doing any exercises.


Have you ever wanted to get stronger but just don’t know where to begin?  Are you afraid to exercise because it makes you short of breath?  Do you have COPD, Pulmonary Fibrosis or Lung Cancer and want to get stronger?
If so, these exercises are great for you!


Don’t worry, here’s where to start:
You can gain arm strength, and reduce your shortness of breath with these simple yet powerful exercises!


Seated Three Position Curls


Seated curls are great Pulmonary Rehab and Lung Cancer Rehab exercises to strengthen your arm muscles without making you too short of breath. These simple yet effective exercises will help build parts  of the arm muscles you use everyday such for tasks such as: bathing, showering, cooking getting dressed, opening and closing doors and drawers etc… Don’t forget, stronger muscles equals less shortness of breath!


The key to success with these exercises is to make sure you coordinate your breathing with the motion.
Always exhale on exertion, or even easier to remember: Blow and Lift.


Common Questions:


What equipment do I need?
You will need a chair with no arms
Weights, water bottles or cans of soup
Pulse oximeter (optional, but it is good to have)


How much oxygen should I use?
Always check with your Doctor for your proper dosage, but generally we want to keep your Pulse oximeter (blood oxygen) levels 92-93% or higher especially during exercise.


How much weight should I use?
If you are just beginning, you don’t even need any weights.  Once you can do 2 sets of 5 repetitions without weights, You can use increase to dumbbells or bottles of water or even cans of soup.


How many reps should I do?
Start with one set of 5 repetitions, then slowly increase to 12 reps.


What is the difference between each curl?
Each position works a different part of your arm muscles, optimizing the efficiency of the movement.


Very important:
Remember to breathe properly: Blow out gently with your lips and inhale softly and slowly only through your nose throughout the entire exercise.


Let’s begin:


  1. Sit up straight on a chair with no arms or a bench
  2. Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart
  3. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold throughout the exercise
  4. Lightly pinch your shoulder blades together while holding the dumbbells in your hands
  5. Curl the dumbbells up
    Keep your wrists straight; do not allow them to bend
  6. Do not sway your body backward to lift the weight
  7. Return the dumbbells back down to the start position
  8. Repeat as directed
  9. Remember to breathe properly: Blow out gently with your lips while your lifting and inhale softly and slowly only through your nose when lowering the weights.


Do this exercise: 2 sets of 5 repetitions




  • Make sure your knees are positioned directly over your ankles
    • Keep your hips rolled forward creating and arch in lower back
    • Check your feet between sets (they probably have moved) remember to keep your feet parallel and roughly 6-8 inches apart and flat on the floor
    • Do not try to do too much at first, build up slowly


Seated Three Position Curls


The Three Curl Positions are:   (Please see the images below)


  • Forward
  • Hammer
  • Reverse





























 Have fun and remember, proper exercises will help you Breathe better, Get stronger and Live longer.


Please let me know how you did with this exercise and stay tuned for more great Pulmonary Rehab and Lung Cancer Rehab exercises.
Have a great day!


About the author:


David Junga, RRT is a Nationally Board Certified Registered Respiratory Therapist and Program Director at Pulmonary Rehabilitation Associates, LLC and David has been in private practice since 1999 and loves teaching patients how to overcome their shortness of breath.


David is also a Postural Alignment Specialist certified by the Egoscue University and Program Director at CtPainFree. His other passion is teaching people how to eliminate chronic pain through simple yet powerful corrective exercises.