If you use a wheelchair and want to work out, there are options a plenty for wheelchair exercises. Whether you use free weights, a wheelchair-accessible machine or have devised something a bit more creative, the only thing limiting us in achieving our workout fantasies is our imagination. And Erik Kondo, a T4-5 paraplegic and self-defense expert, has perfected a pull-up from his wheelchair (and it’s not your usual pull-up either).
Everyone hates pull-ups, don’t they? I remember having to do ten in sequence in 5th grade, failing miserably and dropping to my knees with my arms on fire. Despite that sad little memory, I can relate to Erik in wanting to stick to what he could do before his injury (even if it’s not the most pleasant thing in the world). If you can still do it, even if it’s a modified version, go for it all the way. It keeps us mentally healthy!
In the 1:13 minute video, you’ll see this very strong paraplegic do a pull-up with his wheelchair still attached to his body. Crazy cool! I imagine his wheelchair is light, but then again his arms are pretty big. And by the look of his swift repetitions, it looked relatively easy for him to complete them (people who are good at something always make it look easy). Erik keeps his wheelchair attached to his body by using a bungee cord (he must have cut off his seatbelt like me!). Definitely don’t try this at home kids (unless you have a spotter of course). Watch Erik’s video here
And if your arms aren’t as huge as Erik’s, you can still do some do some effective workout routines from your wheelchair. If you check out Nick Solomon’s video (a C5 quad from Washington D.C.), you can view one of the most basic yet easily accessible work-outs from a wheelchair, which has been dubbed: The Theraband workout.
They look like long rubber bands, but these “bands” gives some of the best resistance training you can find for concentrated muscle areas, which is something those with cervical injuries need to do. Nick shows how you can tie them anywhere in the house, even in your car, making it easy to slip in a few wheelchair exercises whenever you have a few minutes. I personally love these things (and have three!). Watch Nick’s video
Have a spinal injury? What are your favorite wheelchair exercises?