People often assume that wheelchair users are inactive because of their conditions—this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, people in wheelchairs participate in sports and fitness activities all the time. Whether you’re a wheelchair user yourself or just looking to learn more about wheelchair fitness, this list of the best exercises for wheelchair users is a great place to start.
Arm curls are a great exercise for someone confined to a wheelchair. If a person doesn’t have use of their legs, it’s important to strengthen their arm muscles as much as possible. More experienced athletes can lift dumbbells or weights. Beginners can use a simple resistance band to complete the exercise—just make sure something or someone is there to hold the band in place.
Reach and Touches
A simple exercise to do from a wheelchair is a reach and touch. For this exercise, you should reach and touch objects in front of you. For an even tougher challenge, reach for objects in cornered areas, so you have to twist in your seat. Don’t reach for anything too high, and make sure the object is at a realistic height, so you stay safe.
The captain’s chair is an awesome exercise for anyone in a wheelchair. Simply place both of your arms on your chair’s armrest and push to lift your butt up. This is an amazing workout for anyone wanting to strengthen their arms and butt muscles.
Toss a Medicine Ball
Anyone looking for a more interactive exercise should find someone to throw a medicine ball back and forth with. This exercise is great because you can do it with someone else and it’s super fun! Throwing the ball back and forth will strengthen your arm muscles and have you breaking a sweat in no time.
Seated Knee Raises
If you’re able to move your legs, try giving seated knee raises a try. Seated knee raises are a great lower body workout and will help strengthen muscles that aren’t used very often. They can also help improve circulation in the lower extremities.
This list of the best exercises for wheelchair users is great for more seasoned athletes or those just starting out. If you’re a wheelchair user who’s just beginning to exercise in your chair, remember to be patient and stay safe. Results won’t appear overnight, but you’ll feel amazing once they do start to emerge. Now, have fun, stay safe, and don’t let anything stop you from being active.