3 Exercises for People in Wheelchairs

Working out on a foldable lightweight power wheelchair is the best way to keep yourself in shape. Being in a wheelchair shouldn’t stop you from being your healthiest self.

However, you may think it’s challenging to stay healthy because of the limited mobility of a wheelchair. But that’s not the case; there are several exercises you can do. Each of these exercises will help different areas of your body and improve your overall health.

So, let’s discuss a few of these exercises.

1.      Medicine Ball Criss-Cross

For this exercise, you’ll need a medicine ball of about 10-20 pounds.  To perform this exercise, you’ll begin by sitting straight and lifting the ball above the head. Afterward, lean over one side and bring the ball down across the body to cross the opposite hip.


The ball should be over by your left hip. Repeat the same for the other hip and complete about 5 reps or more if you’re feeling up to it. Medicine ball criss-cross benefits your muscle strength and also works your abs. However, carefully consider the weight you’ll be using for the ball.


Weights shouldn’t strain your body, and try to increase the weight as your body builds enough endurance and strength.


2.      Bicycle Crunches

If you’re up for a challenge, then bicycle crunches are the right exercise for you.You’ll need to sit straight and put your palms together on your chest to perform this exercise. It’s like the Namaste pose. Afterward, angle your forearms, making them parallel with your lap.


Twists your body so the right elbow touches the left knee; repeat the same for the left. Complete 5-8 reps regularly. Bicycle crunches will benefit your obliques and also work your abs out.


3.      Chest Stretches

Maintaining good posture is important when you’re sitting down a lot. Even if you buy a heavy duty wheelchair for comfortable sitting, when your back muscles aren’t being used much, they can become weak over time. Moreover, repeatedly pushing the wheelchair can make your shoulder and chest muscles stiff.

This can lead to injuries, so it’s good to exercise your chest and back with stretching every day. Sit upright on your wheelchair to perform this exercise, making sure your back isn’t touching the backrest. Later, extend your arms out on the side and pull your shoulders back.

Afterward, gently push your chest forward until you feel the muscles stretching and hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat this for 5 reps daily. Chest stretches keep your posture straight and your back muscles strong.

 A person lifting weights on a wheelchair

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