Keeping Wheelchair Fit: 5 Core Chair Exercises
Just because someone is in a wheelchair does not mean that they cannot or do not want to do any chair exercises, keep fit or take care of themselves. This is simply not true. They are still able to do all those things. It might just be a bit tougher or take a bit longer. In this article we will learn how we can stay fit in a wheelchair, one chair exercise at a time.
1. Move Your Shoulders
We use our shoulders a lot, therefore we must keep them strong and flexible. For this exercise, you must sit up straight in your wheelchair, with arms extended straight ahead. Let your hands face down and your fingers positioned as if holding an imaginary bike handle.
Now, push your arms out as far as you can without locking the joints, then bend the elbows towards you. Pull your arms back until your elbows are behind the body. Squeeze the shoulder blades together for a nice pull. Repeat this 10 times.
2. Balloon Squeeze
For this exercise you must sit up straight in the wheelchair with a medicine ball, balloon or basketball held up to your chest. Squeeze the ball. The more you squeeze the harder you will work the chest muscles.
Next, push out the ball to the front until your elbows are almost straight and continue squeezing. Pull the ball back to you and squeeze more. Repeat this 10 times. What makes this exercise effective is if you focus while doing the exercise slowly.
3. The Zombie Twist
This exercise is named that way because it makes you look like a zombie. Sit up straight in your wheelchair with your arms extended in front of you, with your elbows at your side. Focus on the core muscles in your trunk and slowly turn to the right.
Turn as far as you can without hurting yourself. Hold that pose and then turn back until you are centered again. Do this for the left side as well. Repeat 10 times as well for each side for each side. Remember to suck in the tummy muscles we well. That is if you can. This will help give an extra boost to your muscle workout.
4. The Jazz Toes
This exercise is great if you like listening to jazz music while tapping your toes. Once again sit up straight in your wheelchair while placing both feet flat on the ground or on the footplate. Move your toes up towards the ceiling and then towards the floor.
This will create a pulling feeling at the back of the foot. Repat this 10 times. You can also perform this with both feet simultaneously if you so prefer.
5. Higher Knee Exercise
In this last exercise sit up straight in your wheelchair as you are getting ready to engage those core muscles in the torso. Put your feet flat on the ground or on the footplate. Lift one of your legs slowly as far as you can.
Bend the knee back towards you and hold the pose for 5 seconds if you can. Lower the feet down and do the exercise on the other leg. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
So now you’ve had a good wheelchair exercise workout.