Getting Even Smarter: More Ways to Climb Stairs From Your Wheelchair


When it comes to climbing stairs, that’s not really in the vocabulary of someone who uses a wheelchair on a regular basis. Most of us resign ourselves to the first floor and that is that. However there are some people in wheelchairs who are the exact opposite and would never let a puny thing like a step dare get in their way.

I love these people too. They show the world that people in wheelchairs can be quite unexpected. Just because some of us can’t walk, it absolutely doesn’t mean we’re weak.  These very strong individuals include paraplegics and those with minor to moderate spinal bifida and cerebral palsy.

It’s a feat, a work of art, the way some individuals climb stairs without leg movement. To see these more unique ways to climb stairs, check out our three videos below.

 Video #1: Climbing stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

For an awesome way to give manual wheelchair-users a helping hand as they climb stairs, you will love this video hosted by the adorable Arly Velasquez (a paraplegic who should totally think about moonlighting as a talk show host btw).

He demos how you can use Hill-Holders in reverse.  Hill-Holders are traditionally used for pushing up a hill, preventing the wheelchair from rolling backwards. I love these things. In this video, Arly shows how you can also use them to help you climb stairs.

What they do is hold the wheel in place so you don’t have to worry about rolling back down the stairs (talk about a genius product use). Watch Arly show how he climbs stairs using Hill-Holders in reverse

Video #2: Para shows how he climbs stairs in walking braces

For the lucky few of us who can sort-of “walk,” meaning using crutches and braces to move our bodies in a forward momentum upright (believe me it’s not easy), this video will show exactly how difficult it is. Created by paralyzed video blogger Wheelz of Fortune, he shows how he was taught to climb stairs.

It’s funny though because in the video he confesses this is the first time he’s used these accouterments to climb stairs in at least a decade. I know many of us out there who have been paralyzed for awhile can relate to this sentiment (has your standing frame became a close hanger yet?).

But he knows it’s important, and he busts out his braces and crutches to film this how-to climb stairs video.  It’s a workout, but it’s great to view. Watch Wheelz go up five steps at a beach, and then down again

Video #3: C7 quad shows how to bump up curbs in a manual wheelchair

Paraplegics don’t get all of the fun. Some quadriplegics are able to do a little stair climbing solo too. In this video from RZRCRIP, he shows one of the smartest ways to climb the curbs – propelling your momentum in a forward fashion – and then using that to get over the curb.

If you live in a town with minimal curb cuts, this is a trick to know indeed. Even if you can’t do it yourself, it’s pretty cool to behold. The way he is able to glide himself onto the sidewalk after bumping up a curb is quite something. Watch RZRCRIP bump up a curb like a rockstar

Stairs don’t have to be your archenemy. With a little bit of maneuvering and reworking to currently existing products, as well as some old fashioned physical assistance, it’s possible for any of us to climb stairs. It’s just not the easiest thing to do.

What tricks do you employ to climb stairs?

Watch the videos

Funny paraplegic showing how he can climb stairs using ingenious wheel locks

How to climb stairs in braces + crutches

C7 quadriplegic bumping curbs solo in a manual chair

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