Upper Body Exercises that are Great for Disabled People


If you are confined to a wheelchair, sitting on it for hours on end can make you uncomfortable and uneasy. The feeling is true for all people who are disabled. Hence, it is easy for a disabled to be negative and to lose good health because of the confinement. To rectify it, you should keep your body as active as possible by doing a regular fitness program that includes upper body exercises. The program should be a priority, no matter what kind of disability you may have. With a regular activity, you will be able to improve circulation, increase your flexibility and strength, improve mobility, boost your cardiovascular system and help you control your weight.

It is important to set goals for yourself in order to achieve anything. However, make sure that the goals you set are realistic to avoid discouragement. Do not do something that you know you should not be doing. Keep focused on the end result and reward yourself for meeting your short-term objectives.

Before starting a diet or any of the wheelchair exercises that may have been prescribed for you, there are some things that you should always keep in mind:

  • The methods that are used currently for getting the ideal weight range of a person do not always apply to disabled people. It is important that you consult your dietician or family doctor about your ideal weight.
  • Upper body exercises, diets and other forms of fitness regimen are not always targeted for disabled people who are gaining weight. There are disabled persons who are susceptible to abnormal weight loss.
  • Disabled persons are more prone to becoming obese or overweight than other segments of the population.

What Upper Body Exercises are best for Disabled People?

Chair exercises that will work best for disabled persons depend on the kind of disability that a person may have. For those that are confined to a wheelchair, simple arm exercises can be used to strengthen forearm muscles. The use of gym equipment’s like hand weights can be utilized for variation. Breathing correctly while exercising is important for people with disabilities so learn the proper techniques before going into your regimen.

To improve cardio endurance, hand cycling can be done. A special equipment called hand cycle or upper body ergometer is used in this form of exercise and is essential in improving the muscles on the shoulders, upper back and arms. It can also be used for toning muscles.

While doing upper body exercises, it is essential to monitor your heart rate so try to invest on a good monitoring equipment to keep yourself safe. You should not also start any strenuous chair exercises without the permission of your doctor.


There are disabled persons who can still stand up but not for long periods. If you have some use of your legs, a standard gym bike can be used as well. Biking in place is good for getting a full cardio workout and it is good for strengthening and toning the leg muscles. Water aerobics and swimming are also good. You can have the services of a gym instructor for supervision.

There are also activities, which are good upper body exercises for disabled persons that provide relaxation and relief from stress as well such as fishing. Any disabled who can use his hands and arms can enjoy the activity. Aside from the thrill it provides, a disabled can also enjoy companionship if the fishing is done with family or friends.

Aside from the mental stimulation it provides, fishing is great for flexing the muscles. It can be enjoyed from a wheelchair, or any chair placed conveniently alongside the water.

More topics regarding disabled:

- The Athlete.org

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