Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sample Upper Body Program for Wheelchair Clients

I was recently asked by a friend to create a program for him. He is disabled. I began doing some research and I really found a lot of crappy programs as far as strength training went for someone with his disability. Most of what I found was full of range of motion exercises and a lack of solid strengthening exercises that could be executed.

The following is a sample of one stage of a program. The stage last 4 weeks and then I usually have clients move on to the next stage once they have a good base.

Strength Training

For exercises with weights choose weights heavy enough so that when performing a set it's difficult to squeeze out the last 5 reps while maintaining good for. After you find the weight to be easy be sure to change up your routine as needed to prevent plateau, Increase your poundages, your reps or both.

Use proper posture.
Start with a lighter warm-up weight - then increase gradually between sets.
Breathe - exhale as you lift (exert).
Inhale as you lower weights (relax).
Drink plenty of water.
Eat a light meal or snack at least 1 hour before exercising.

4 weeks - Stage 1


Take no more than 2 minutes between each set.

Warm Up - Whatever you normally do. I suggest dynamically moving arms ...circles...small big...etc

3 x 15 Biceps Curls
3 x 15 Front Raise with Triceps Extension
3 x 15 Dumbbell Upright Rows
3 x 15 Shoulder Press
TRY not sure how they will work with your chair though but they are awesome if you can do it:
3 x 15 Wall Angels (this one is harder than it sounds)
  1. Stand against wall with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Gently press low back against wall.
  3. Place back of elbows, forearms, and wrists against wall.
  4. Bring arms up and down slowly in a small arc of motion while keeping elbows in contact with wall.

The example dude is boring but its better than nothing...i should make a better one but this is ok for example (

Cool Down
5 Minutes
Static Stretching


Take no more than 2 minutes between each set.

Warm Up - Whatever you normally do. I suggest dynamically moving arms for you...circles...small know :)

3 x 15 Cable PUSH Press or DUMBELL
3 x 15 CABLE Flyes or DUMBELL
3x 15 Lat Pull Down or Cable Pull Down
3 x 15 Cable Row

Cool Down
5 Minutes
Static Stretching

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