The vast majority of people living on a wheelchair don’t know how to exercise. This has become a problem since we need to move to maintain proper health. In this article, we will show some interesting ways in which how to exercise using your wheelchair.
I must say it is challenging to train with MS, but it is even more of an effort when you are in a wheelchair with MS. I am here to tell those of you in wheelchairs… you can do it!
There are many upper body workouts that can be done from a wheelchair with weights and exercise bands. I’m going to outline just one of these using bands that will allow you to be involved in a fitness regimen and help keep you in shape. This is a beginner routine and more exercises can be added once you are comfortable.
Exercise Bands can be purchased with different levels of resistance and typically come in a package that allows you to increase the resistance as your strength increases. Each movement will be performed for 3-4 sets. For muscle building, keep the repetitions from 8-10 and for toning from 12-15. Exhale on exertion and inhale at release. Always sit tall in your chair, and keep your abdominals tight.
Loop the band around the back of the wheelchair and grasp the handles of the band in each hand at chest level. Grasp the band handles back far enough so that you are able to feel the resistance. Next, press the bands forward until the arms are straight out in front of you. Do not lock the arms. You want to keep the tension throughout the movement and not relax in a locked position. Slowly return to the starting position.
Fold your resistance band in half and grip each end in front of your chest, arms away from your body and elbows bent. Pull the band apart, bringing it closer to your chest and straightening your arms, and then slowly release it back to the start position.
Secure the band, looping under the wheel chair wheels. Grasp the band handles and position them around the shoulder area. Keep your forearms straight and your hands at ear level. Next, press the bands over your head. The arms should extend just short of locking the elbows. Slowly lower the bands back to the starting position and repeat the movement.
With the band in the same secured position as shoulder press and arms down at sides, grab the resistance band handles. Keeping elbows at the side, palms facing outward, slowly raise hands toward the shoulder and slowly return to starting position. Make sure to keep your wrists in line with the forearms, not bent.
With a slight variation of turning the palms in towards your legs, the bicep curl now becomes a seated hammer curl. This movement is used to target primarily the biceps, however because the wrist remains perpendicular to the ground rather than parallel, the forearm also gets a workout.
OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSIONS
Again, with the band secured under the wheels grasp both handles of the bands and pull the arms close to the sides of your head, elbows pointing forward. Extend the arms up, lifting that handle toward the ceiling and slowly release back down to the start position.
The only movement should be the elbows bending and straightening. Keep the elbows pointed forward, not out to the sides.