Published September 21, 2020

5 Wheelchair Exercises to Get A Full-Body Workout

No matter what your abilities are, staying active and increasing your heart rate is important and necessary for a healthy lifestyle. With the right exercises, you never have to let your wheelchair stop you from getting a workout in! Try these 5 seated exercises for a full-body, easy-to-follow workout to start your day. 

Why are Wheelchair Exercises Beneficial? 

The following are some reasons why doing wheelchair workouts can be beneficial for both your mind and body: 

  • Improved balance 
  • Better range of motion 
  • Reduced joint pains 
  • Mental health benefits 

What Exercises Should You Try? 

These exercises can be done in regular chairs, lift chairsmanual wheelchairs or power wheelchairs depending on what you own or prefer. 

1. Side Twists (Core) 

Start this exercise by holding an exercise ball or something weighted in front of you. Twist from side to side, engaging your core and using your abdominal muscles to twist rather than just your arms. Remember to sit up straight throughout the entire workout and repeat at least 3 sets of 20 repetitions.  

2. Lateral Raises (Shoulders) 

This exercise can be done with or without weights depending on your preference. Begin with your arms down on either side of your wheelchair. Lift them sideways either halfway or above your head based on what is more comfortable for you. Do this 10-15 times and repeat for 3 sets. You can also try moving your arms in a circular motion forwards then backwards between sets to keep your shoulders moving and for increased difficulty. 

3. Take a Couple Laps (Full Body) 

For a good warm up or cool down exercise, simply move around in your manual wheelchair for a couple of minutes. Find a long sidewalk or area to move around and alternate between pushing yourself quickly using your arm strength while engaging your core, then slow down to a moderate speed. Repeat this combination for a few minutes to get your heart rate up! 

4. Knee Lifts (Legs) 

If you have mobility capabilities in your legs, this is a great seated exercise to increase leg strength. With your feet flat on the ground, lift one leg at a time with your knees bent as high as you painlessly can. Slowly lower it back to the ground focusing on using only your leg muscles. Repeat at least 10 times per leg for 3 sets. 

5. Chest Press (Chest) 

Using an exercise ball or something weighted, start by holding the ball close to your chest. While keeping your back straight, push the ball straight out until your elbows are straight. Use your core to keep good posture and pause with the ball in front of you, slowly bringing it back to your chest. 

If you’re looking for ways to increase your strength along with gaining many mental health benefits, these exercises are perfect for you. Be sure to check out our manual wheelchairs or power wheelchairs if you‘re looking for an upgrade. Feel free to contact us with any questions!  

Got Questions
Got Questions?

The team at Eco Medical Equipment is here to help! If you have questions about our products or services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.