Top 7 Exercises for Physically Challenged People
There are different kind of exercises for people with disability, and also many ways to tailor these exercises to fit their needs. The exercises listed below have its own methods and also suited for specific disabilities
For each exercises you decide to follow, you should do 3 sets. Repeat each sets 10 times without stopping, take a 30 seconds to 1 minute’s rest, repeat the sets again for another 10 times rest again and do it for the 3rd time.
Because stressed tissues take time to recover, try leaving 48 hours between workout to fully rest your muscles and joints.
If you are trying to measure your strength, try to better your last performance. This means that if you have been on 3 sets of 10 on a particular weight, try moving up to the next weight, and if you don’t have access to a heavier weight, you then need to try increasing the number of repetition or the number of sets.
The only way to get fitter and stronger is to always be improving. The fact is, if you increase the weight you are on before you definitely will increase your amount of energy level, and if you also increase your workout repetition, you will improve on your endurance level.
Choose the one you wish to focus on so as to achieve your goal with ease.
1. Sit to stand
This popular exercise is very good for people with weakened lower body part and need to increase the strength and stability of the lower area
This workout program is suitable for people who have some control over their lower body
Method: settle your bottom at the front edge of your seat while your feets rest firmly on the floor, right behind your knee. Lean your upper body slightly forward and attempt to push yourself up with your legs into a fully standing position. Again slowly lower your body back into the seat just like the position you started in.
Modification: if it’s not possible to do this exercise with the assistance of your arm, use your hands by placing them on your knees to help with the pushing up. And if your legs are weak, try to find something to support on like a grab rail or worktop.
Now pull yourself up out of your chair and at the same time try to add some more force to the legs as possible
2. Seated triceps dips
This exercise is good to help strengthen your triceps, your chest and also the front of your shoulders. Reinforcing those particular part of the body will be very useful if you move from a wheelchair
Suitable For: This exercise is suitable for people who have good strength in their upper body
Method: On your sitting position, place your hands on your wheelchair armrests on another chair. Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders. Try pushing yourself up until you have a fully extended arm then slowly bring yourself down until you are on your sitting position again.
Modification: if for instance you don’t have enough strength in your arm, but do have some good leg strength, you can substitute the arm with the legs by using the legs for slight assistance. But in any case make sure you try to let your arms do as much of the work as possible.
3. Seated knee raises
This exercise is good to strengthen your hip flexors (the muscles located around your hips that causes movement) and make your movement, walking, and bending easier.
Suitable For: this exercise is good if you have good control over your lower body part.
Method: On your sitting position, raise one of your knee upward until your foot is several inches away from the ground. Cautiously bring it down slowly and repeat the process to complete your set. Once the set is completed, repeat the process with your other knee.
Modification: if you can’t get your feet off the floor totally, use instead the calf muscle to flex your ankle, to assist the movement. But don’t let the calf muscle do all the work!
4. Sit and walk
If you are having problem with your walking, this is the best exercise to engage in. This exercise benefits are in two fold. Firstly, the sit-to-stand gives strength to the legs and the short walk help to improve walking!
Suitable for: this exercise is good if you have some control over your lower body.
Method: Place two chairs a few meters apart and make them face each other. Sit on one of the chair to perform the sit to stand exercise. Stand from the chair you are sitting on and walk to the other chair. Turn around, sit down on the second chair, then stand up again and walk back to the first chair
Modification: This exercise can be done with the help of your crutches, or a partner until you can see some improvement; then you can gradually reduce the help of the assistance or the use of the crutches. And as time goes by, you can vary the distance between the chairs accordingly.
5. Reverse Crunches
If you want to work on your abdominal muscles, but you are not too strong to do a regular crunch or a sit up, then this exercise will help you to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Suitable for: This exercise is good for you if you have control over your abdominal muscles.
Method: you should sit on the floor with your knees bent to a 90 degree. Then slowly lower your upper body backward until your back is touching the floor, i.e. you are facing upward. Get yourself on your sited position in any way you can and repeat lowering yourself back to the floor once more. make sure you try as much to roll your spine as you lower down ensuring that your vertebrae touches the floor one after another.
Modification: to help with the slow movement back and fro, use your hands to grip your knees or thighs.
6. Dorsal raises and seated back extensions (Back exercises)
This is another exercise geared toward your lower back muscles.
Suitable For: This exercise is good if you are comfortable getting up and down the floor
Dorsal raise method: You start this exercise by lying face down, make sure your fingertips are close to your temple and spread your elbows wide. Try to raise your head and shoulder and thigh at the same time. Then slowly lower the parts back to position but make sure these body parts do not touch the floor completely.
7. Seated shoulder press
This exercise to increase shoulder strength is good for situation where you need to lift objects above your head.
Suitable for: This exercises is good if you have some grip strength and some control over your upper body.
Method: This exercise requires that you sit in an upright position, with weights in each hands and hold the weight in either side of your head with your palm facing forward as if you are holding a bar, then push the weight over your head, still keeping the palm facing forward until they meet in the middle and slowly lower the hands back to its original position and repeat the process.
Modification: if this exercise is difficult to perform with heavy weight, try a lighter weight, or you can use no weight at all.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults who are physically challenged should aim for: At least 150 (a hundred and fifty) minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 (seventy-five) minutes a week of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular activity (or a combination of both), with each exercise lasting for at least 10 minutes.