Wheelchair Strength Exercises to Stay In Great Shape

It is easy to get lazy when you are in a wheelchair. After all, you have to sit down throughout the day. Still, this does not mean you have to slack on your fitness and healthy eating habitsFor starters, there are supplements available to help you add strength and build muscle mass. An example is isolate protein supplements that promote muscle growth and let your muscles recover after a workout. Yes, there are ways for you to work out while you are confined to a wheelchair. You can use the below wheelchair strength exercises to get stronger or simply stay in shape.

wheelchair strength exercises

Upper Body Wheelchair Strength Exercises

There are many wheelchair strength exercises that require minimal lower body movement. Ideally, you should do strength training two or three days a week, but not on consecutive days.

Read on: 3 Best Bodyweight Exercises You Should Try

Shoulder retractions are a good exercise for beginners. Just sit up straight with your ab muscles contracted. Hold out your arms at a right angle with your hands facing down and your fingers curved. Push the arms out as far as you can, then bend your elbow and pull your arms back until the elbows are behind your torso.

Front raises are another way to keep the shoulders moving. All you have to do is pick up small weights or an exercise ball and lift it over your head.

To strengthen your biceps, consider doing curls with an elastic band. You can also improve your triceps by grabbing a walking stick and doing overhead extensions. Hold the stick above your head with two hands. Alternate between bending your elbows and straightening your arms while keeping the stick parallel to the floor.

Core Wheelchair Strength Exercises

Don’t forget about your core, either. There are ways to build muscle in your abdomen and even develop your abs.

Read on: Funny Exercises That Could Make You a 6-Pack from Laughing

One option is the captain’s chair exercise. Start by sitting up straight and grabbing the front of your wheelchair seat with both hands. Next, lift both of your feet off the floor as high as you can comfortably. Bend your knees toward your chest as you do so. Squeeze your abs before lowering your feet back to the ground.

If you don’t have any movement in your legs, you can still work on your obliques by doing side twists. Simply hold your arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle and twist your waist to the left. Then move back to the center and twist your body to the right. For an added challenge, try the same exercise while holding a medicine ball.

No matter which wheelchair strength exercises you choose, you should continue moving in between sets. Try rolling for 35 feet before you begin the next stage of the workout. This will add a bit of fun to the routine while working your arms and shoulders.   

Cardiovascular Workouts

There are also a variety of cardiovascular wheelchair exercises available. Many disabled people have increased mobility in the water. Swimming in pools thus may be a great option for you. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting into and out of the pool safely. That’s because public pools are now legally required to install accessible exits and entrances.

Some cardiovascular equipment is available in modified forms for people in wheelchairs. If you prefer a team environment, try to find a local wheelchair sports league. Basketball, fencing and badminton are just some of the sports available to disabled people.

There are many reasons to work out despite being in a wheelchair. You can stay physically fit and get your blood pumping throughout your body. Using a wheelchair can also put excess pressure on your upper body muscles, leaving them prone to strains and other similar injuries. Persistent strength training can help you avoid these injuries.  

The Bottom Line

Do not let your disability prevent you from being active. While you may not be able to run or jog in your wheelchair, there are plenty of other wheelchair strength exercises you can still perform.

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Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.