Stay Fit Even If You Use a Wheelchair: Exercises and Helpers for all Abilities

Elderly individuals have limited mobility and without strength training and exercise routines, their quality of life will be limited as well. If your elderly loved one is already in a wheelchair or has limited mobility, they can still do some exercises that will allow them to stay fit.
A bike ride with grandpa.

Resistance bands – One of the best exercises for an individual that is in a wheelchair is resistance bands. Your loved one does not need to get up out of the wheelchair to do any of the exercises. Using the resistance bands, your loved one can strengthen practically every muscle in his or her body. Here's how: Have your loved one follow these tips:

  • Let’s start with your arms and shoulders. Take the resistance bands and fold them in half, grab the handles with one hand and slid the other hand all the way down to the end. Now, pull the resistance bands behind the head and push out 15-20 times, take a break for 30 seconds and repeat this process 2 more times. This will strengthen your shoulders and triceps. To strengthen your arms, grab both handles and then place the cord around the bottom of your foot. Push your foot out and against the pedal on your wheelchair and then pull up with the resistance bands, allowing you to do some bicep curls. Now, for your legs, place the resistance bands around the bottom of your foot and hang onto the cord by the handles. Slowly kick your leg out until the resistance cord is completely flexed and then bring your foot back in, bending at the knee. This will strengthen all of your leg muscles.

Weight training – Another great way to exercise in a wheelchair is to use some small weights to do some simple weight training exercises. Use free weights of about 5-10 pounds. Sit straight up in your wheelchair. Bend to one side, allowing the weight to pull your arm as far down as possible then sit up straight and bend to the other side. This weight training exercise routine will help to strengthen your core muscles, giving you stronger abdominal and back muscles. Using the same free weights, hold your arms down and then do some bicep curls. After bicep curls, lift the weights above your head and bend your elbows behind you and then lift up, this will help to strengthen your triceps.

Strength training
– Even though you may use a wheelchair, you can still do some great strength training exercises. In addition to lifting weights, sign up for a water aerobics class. The water aerobics class will allow you to work on strengthening all of your muscles. You can do everything from abdominal crunches to leg raises, and the water will support you and your joints so you do not feel pain and you do not need to worry about losing your balance and falling down. Water aerobics also include water weights which you can use to do bicep curls, triceps lifts, and other great arm exercises. Try to attend water aerobics at least 2 days per week to give your body a great workout.

Additional exercises – Any time you begin an exercise program, you need to warm up and cool down for 5 minutes at a time. Stretch the muscles well to keep them loose and limber. If you would like to do squats, you may need a support bar that will help you stand up and squat down. A nice support bar that can be moved freely around your home can be found here: The curve in the bar will allow you to perform a variety of different exercises other than squats; you can also use it to do crunches as it can help you pull yourself up after being on your back. Use it to keep your balance while you are performing lunges and leg raises.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


chiropractor melbourne said...

It's about adapting to the body condition. There are different workouts you can vary.

Nurofen said...

Elderly people are encouraged to do light exercises to prevent bone defects and muscle strains that will lead to pain. However, in case of pain, it is imperative to consult a doctor as soon as possible to give attention to the problem.

Post a Comment