The general consensus was the tai chi ruler exercises were, by intention, too yang. A well-designed tai chi chuan set like Chen family style Lao Jia or sword is supposed to be balanced as far as yin and yang go. So the advice given was to provide individual homework for each student. The to-be-done-daily assignment would focus on some qigong exercises appropriate to the special needs of the student. In the particular case of the student mentioned the advice was first a few Chen family style warmups that exercise the arms, second some of the standing exercises from Ba Duan Jin (Eight Brocades), third the ruler exercises and fourth a few silk reeling exercises.
There were two very interesting additional comments (both from multiple people): (1) at some point in the future a liniment similar to dit da jow will likely prove useful if applied to the forearms, wrists, and and fingers. Normally, dit da jow is used when doing iron palm training to prevent injuries and speed recovery. The suggestion was to dilute the normal jow 50% with water and NOT rub it in past the base of the fingernails. It was also mentioned that dit dah jow would likely be helpful for people with arthritis-like pain in the knees. (2) according to a former member of the Beijing Wushu Team, at one time most students doing serious wushu training were assigned light sessions with specific exercises to either help condition them for what they were learning (to speed learning and lessen the chance of injury) OR help them rehabilitate from injuries. The idea was a light session before breakfast, then a heavy training session in the morning, lunch and rest, a heavy training session in the afternoon, supper, and then another light session before bed. On days with only one or even no heavy sessions a third light session could be added.