4 Exercises Ideal for Wheelchair Users

Exercise is important for us all and regular physical exercise that is within ones’ physical limitations is the main way to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. This article provides some advice and insights as to the best exercises for wheelchair users. It must, however, start with the proviso that these exercises are meant for those wheelchair users that are capable and able to perform these movements. It is also advised that no exercise is embarked upon without first agreeing all the suggestions and exercises as discussed herein with your specific physician or physical therapist.

1. Shoulders and upper arms

The shoulders, chest and upper arms are the main muscle groups used by wheelchair users to push the chair as well as to dismount or get into the chair. It is for this reason that they are also the main muscles that are stressed and predominantly damaged by wheelchair users. Hence the importance of training and developing these muscle groups. A set of appropriately weighted dumbbells that can be used to perform seated dumbbell curls, shoulder rolls/shrugs and over the shoulder dumbbell presses are some of the best recognized means of building strength and muscle in the chest, upper arms and shoulders that there is.

2. Hands and wrists

Many wheelchair users swear by a good grip strengthener, also known as a hand gripper. The ability to crush and support using your hands is a fantastic way to build strength in the hands and wrists, which is essential to use your wheelchair. The hand gripper is a small exercise tool and as such can be taken anywhere with you and used while waiting in a queue or while on your way somewhere. 

3. Stretches and wheelchair yoga

There are a substantial number of wheelchair yoga programs available that will be easy to follow. Many wheelchair users try to get somewhere in the open – a country park or some green space is always a perfect way to practice yoga. You will need transport or a wheelchair accessible vehicle, similar to those designed by alliedmobility.com and then once there simply follow your chosen yoga routine. The added bonus of exercise in the outdoors or open air will not be beaten.

4. Toe or knee lifts

Depending on the mobility that you have in your legs being in a wheelchair should not prevent you from working your legs. If you can lift your knees then simply lifting them as high as you can and doing this in sets to work both legs will both build leg strength and build your core. Toe lifts can be done by those who have limited leg movement but can still move their toes. Lifting one foot altogether and then holding it there and repeating for both feet as an inclusion in your overall exercise routine provides a straightforward way to keep moving and exercising.

These are just four of the many exercises that wheelchair users can implement as part of a regular exercise regime that will serve for a happier healthier life. The main point to make is that being in a wheelchair should not prevent you from instituting an exercise regime that works for you.

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