Finding workouts that you can do as an elder can be difficult, but it’s considerably harder when you’re wheelchair-constrained. But don’t worry; there are lots of wheelchair workout options available to keep you fit, agile, and healthy. You will also quickly find that getting through each day becomes an enjoyment when you’re in good shape. But remember to sit tall and activate your core to maintain proper posture when you exercise in a wheelchair. Also, strength training activities should be done up to three times a week non-consecutively, with at least a day of rest in between.
Do a Thorough Stretch
Just as you would do some light stretching before engaging in any form of exercise, you will want to do so before you begin your wheelchair exercise routine. Feel free to use a wheelchair belt if you’re afraid of losing your balance and falling.
We recommend warming up your spine, neck, and shoulders with a seated forward bend. Curve your spine forward and tuck your torso in between your thighs. Allow your arms to droop towards your feet and your head to fall loose and heavy towards the floor. Pause for about 30 seconds, then slowly reset.
Next, work your arms, shoulders, core, and hamstrings with a knee to chest stretch. With both hands, grab the back of one thigh while keeping your core firm and anchored. Raise your leg as high as you can with the strength of your arms and shoulders. After 30 seconds, carefully lower the leg and repeat on the opposite side.
Time for Some Wheelchair Pushups
Now that you are thoroughly warmed up, it’s time for some wheelchair pushups. This practice helps build your arms, chest, and shoulders without requiring any additional equipment.
Firmly grip on both wheelchair side rails while maintaining a strong core. Push yourself off the seat of your chair with your arms until they are straight or as high as you can go. Gradually bring yourself back down and try to avoid simply plopping back onto your seat. If it’s your first time engaging in the activity, begin with 10 reps first and steadily increase the number of reps each time you perform the motion.
End by Twisting to Your Favourite Tunes
We present to you the seated cardio twist in this section! This workout will strengthen your obliques while also increasing your pulse rate if you’re fit enough to go fast. The speedier you go, the greater the impact. To make it more enjoyable, turn on your favorite upbeat tunes while doing so.
Start by raising your hands to chest level with elbows bent, palms away from your face, and fingers aiming towards the sky. Then point your knees to one edge of your wheelchair if you can introduce some movement to your lower body. Turn your upper body in the reverse direction of your knees while keeping your abs firm. Twist your upper body and knees in the opposite direction repeatedly for about a minute and rest.
Never underestimate the positive effects of simple exercises even if you’re working with the constraints of being in a wheelchair. Start with a proper stretch to warm up your body before you do your pushups and twists. Turn on your best playlists while doing so!