If you’re currently spending many hours in a wheelchair because of a disability and are not getting any sort of exercise, there are a number of exercises you can do from your wheelchair that will help keep you fit. It’s not difficult to plan a fitness program regardless of the disability and you can set aside a time every day to do your exercises and workout. Perhaps you want to have it coincide with a regular TV program. But setting a time for it every day is important.
There are a number of simple exercises you can do but you want to make sure to get approval from your doctor especially for any exercises that may be difficult.
Even though you’re in a wheelchair you can do a lot of exercises with the upper body and the lower body if you have the mobility. No matter what amount of mobility you have if you can move your neck, head, shoulders or your hand, foot, arm or leg you can exercise it. In fact you can design your own exercise just by moving an extremity and repeating it.
Movement is the goal. You want to keep you body parts moving as much as possible throughout the day, even when you’re not setting a time to do your wheelchair exercises.
Be as active as you can in your wheelchair.
The two types of exercise you’ll use in a workout are resistance training and strength training, but I’ll be focusing on strength training. Resistance training involves the use of large rubber bands.
Strength training involves lifting weights called free weights. This will be the easiest as you can use anything you have laying around your house or apartment that you can lift.
So we’ll focus on strength training. Boxes or cans or food are the easiest because you may have these already. Dumbbells are not expensive and you can usually purchase them cheap at discount stores, sporting shops, thrift shops and at garage sales. Many people give them away because they don’t use them. You can ask for them free on your local free recycling sites or ad sites.
The bicep curl is the most basic and simplest wheelchair exercise and the best one to start with.
Start with two dumbbells or cans that weigh between 3-8 pounds each. I recommend starting with 3 lb. dumbbells. You want to be careful not to injure your elbows so make sure you start with the lowest amount of weight and proceed slowly.
Hold the dumbbells in your hands with your hands in front of you. You can use one hand at a time or two, whichever is easier for you.
Place your elbows in against your hip bones and let your arms hang a little bit.
Slowly lift the dumbbells up until your forearm touches your chest.
And the slowly move them back down to waist level in the exact same motion you used when lifting.
Do this 12 times for 3 sets, resting about a minute between each
You can do this once or twice a day if you like. But make sure to get clearance from your doctor.
You can easily build up arm strength with this bicep curl which will help in using your wheelchair and rising up out of it. Doing this exercise is one of the most important exercises you can do if you use a wheelchair. Do it daily as part of your wheelchair exercise fitness routine for the best results.