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THE DESTINATION FOR YOUR HOME GYM NEEDS

Accessible Fitness | Free Weights Workouts for Wheelchair Users

Accessible Fitness | Free Weight Workouts for Wheelchair Users

Accessible Fitness | Free Weight Workouts for Wheelchair Users

Age, mobility, and injuries are only some of the reasons why someone might need a wheelchair - not just those with disabilities. And while some people need to use their wheelchair all the time, others might only require it for specific activities. No matter what your situation is, we want to help you stay active by including exercises that can be done while seated in a wheelchair.

In this blog we will look at some upper body workouts that be completed in a seated position.


The Benefits of Undertaking Upper body Workouts 

Training your arms and shoulders is not only about looking good; it has many strength benefits that can help with everyday activities. For seniors or wheelchair users, this type of training can help to increase independence.


There are many benefits to having strong arms, especially for those who rely on wheelchairs to get around. Stronger arms mean more endurance to propel the wheelchair throughout the day, as well as being able to better participate in activities like driving and food shopping. For wheelchair users specifically, having stronger arms can drastically improve their quality of life.

Strength training also has other benefits for seniors, such as helping to prevent bone loss and muscle atrophy. This is especially important for seniors as it can help to avoid osteoporosis, and having stronger bones and muscles makes it less likely that you'll get injured in a fall and they also increase your heart health at the same time.

Here are some great exercise that can be undertaken sat down

Front Dumbbell Raises

Front Dumbbell raise exercise

The front dumbbell raise is a great exercise for targeting your shoulder muscles, putting a large focus on your anterior deltoid muscle. It will also bring additional works outs to your, upper back, your core and is a great forearm trainer.

How to do a Front Dumbbell Raises?

Infographic on how to do a front arm raise with a dumbbell

Front Straight arm raises are fairly simple to learn to complete. Let's see how you complete them.

1. Whilst Seated grab a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Keeping your core tight and your chest up, with your arms straight, and a dumbbell in each hand resting by your front waist, slowly raise each dumbbell up in front of your whilst keeping your arms straight.
3. Hold for a second and slowly lower the dumbbells back down and in front of your waist. Keep the movement controlled throughout.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set 

Top tips with the Front Raise?

Infographic explaining the correct way to do a front dumbbell lift


Straight Arm Raises

The lateral raise is a great exercise for targeting your shoulder muscle, it goes one step further though and be used to improve your traps or trapezius muscles, upper back, arms and also work your core.

How to do a Lat Arm Raises?

infographic on lateral raise gym workout

Lat raises are fairly simple to learn to complete, but they can bring a big range of benefits. Let see how you complete them.

1. Whilst seated grab a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Keeping your core tight and your chest up, slowly raise each dumbbell up, keeping your arms straight so they are level with you shoulders.
3. Hold for a second and slowly lower the dumbbells back down beside your hips. Keep the movement controlled throughout.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

Top tips with the Lateral Raises?

This one is all about speed and conditioning, try not to throw the weight up quickly but keep a controlled movement up and down, this is crucial to a good workout, unfortunately this is an exercise where physics really is again you, your arm length is going to multiple the force required by your shoulders.

Don't be afraid to go down to a lot lower weight, the key is controlled movements.

 

Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

The beauty of this workout is that it hits so many upper-body muscles at once. If you're looking to save time, this is a great exercise to add to your routine. we are going to combine two classic movements here, the Bicep Curl and the Shoulder Press.

The benefits of combining exercises like this, is that it works a bigger range of muscles, in this workout your going to complete a bicep curl and then transition into a shoulder press by rotating your wrists 180 degrees and pushing the weights towards the sky.

This will target your wrist muscles, your upper back, your triceps and biceps and your deltoids, so will give you a good overall upper body workout.

How to do a Bicep Curl to a Shoulder Press?

For the bicep curl into shoulder press move, you will need a set of dumbbells. Start by standing upright with feet hip-width distance apart and abs tight. Next, keeping your elbows tucked tight to your side, curl the dumbbell up towards yours chest.

From here, rotate your arms and push the dumbbells up and towards the ceiling, lower you arms slowly back down into the curl position, lowering your arms until they are straight and ready to begin the rep again.

Aim to complete a good 10-15 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

Top tips with the Bicep Curl to a Shoulder Press?

Chances are your going to be able to curl more weight than you can shoulder press, so start on a lighter weight until you get the gist of it, and just undertake a higher rep count if you can manage it. 

 

Cable Machine Row

Cable Machine Row

A cable row is a great exercise for targeting the muscles of the upper back, and traps. It is also a great toning exercise for the biceps and triceps, making it a great all-around exercise for developing the upper body.

How it differs from a traditional bar row!

A traditional row, involves lifting a weighted bar, such as a barbell or a Olympic bar with a set of weight plates, up to your chest whilst bent over at an angle, by using a cable machine instead, you can workout with increased safety as you don't have to worry about dropping the weight.

When using a cable you also only have to lift weight once your in the correct position.

How to do a cable row?  

The exercise can be undertaken seated or standing and can be achieved with just a single cable machine. 

  1. To start, you'll need to attach an appropriate handle to the cable, you can use a triceps handle, a row handle or for the best results use a double rope attachment which will double as a great forearm trainer.
  2. Set the required weight on the stack.
  3. Face the machine, either sat down or with your knees slightly bent if your standing.
  4. With arms straight out in front of you, take a few steps back until the weight is released from the rack.
  5. Simply pull the attachment back to the middle of your chest with your elbows going past your body and level with your back, slowly and in a controlled manner release the weight back to the stack and then continue to another rep.

 

Seated Triceps Extension 

Standing Triceps Extension

This simple exercise does a lot more than it looks its a great way to concentrate your training on your triceps, whilst the shoulder rotations will help build your shoulder strength.

It also has the added benefits of improving your core strength as you will be tensing a lot in your lower body and abs to control the weight. 

How to do an Overhead Tricep Extension?

Infographic on how to do a overhead tricep extension

This one is quite simple to undertake, holding a dumbbell in both hands above your head, lower the dumbbell weight slowly down as low as you can comfortably go.

Keep your elbows facing forward, and raise the weight whilst squeezing through the triceps to return to the starting position.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

This is a great workout to strengthen them without buying expensive triceps training equipment

Top tips with the Dumbbell Tricep Extension?

Its all in the squeeze, try and squeeze your trapezius muscle in your upper back as you undertake this exercise, another way to dramatically improve the potency of the workout is by slowing it down, the slower the more toning and conditioning the workout will be

 

A note about safety

Seated workouts with reduced mobility come with a higher level of risk, when working out always ensure you follow all safety guidance for your equipment and ensure you have a spotter or second person to assist you.

 

Conclusion

Staying fit and health is important in your life and reduced mobility doesn't have to stop you from keeping fit at the gym, many gyms have staff that are more than willing to help with your workout and these five exercises are great for completing whilst seated. 

 

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