In this blog from the Race At Your Pace team we list some of our favourite fitness challenges for wheelchair users.
Wheelchair Fitness Challenges & Workouts
The type and intensity of exercise that you can participate in will depend on your level of physical ability. Mobility issues, for example, will likely make certain exercises more difficult than others, so it’s important you find activities that work for you and your personal capabilities.
If you’re looking for a challenge or workout to get stuck into, here we’ve listed some ideas for you to consider.
Strength Training Circuit
Strength training is vital for wheelchair users because it helps to build muscle and bone mass as well as prevent injury. You should focus on exercises that work the smaller muscles that support the repeated pushing motion used to push a wheelchair, like your shoulder muscles. However, you should also look to work muscles which aren’t involved in the pushing motion (like your back muscles) as these can become weaker as they’re worked less regularly.
If you typically find strength training dull and tedious, try creating your own circuit. Circuits tend to be much more enjoyable as you’re constantly changing activities, preventing you from becoming bored and uninterested.
Pick between 5-10 exercises targeting different muscles and perform each exercise for a set period of time, followed by a period of rest. Your fitness level will influence how long your workout and rest times are.
Some exercises you might want to incorporate into your circuit include bicep curls, shoulder press, shoulder raises, chest flys and pull ups. Dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands can be used to increase intensity.
Entering a virtual challenge is the perfect option if you’re wanting to regularly exercise.
Wheelchair virtual challenges task you to cover a specified number of miles throughout the course of a month, so are great for motivating you to frequently keep active rather than just exercise sporadically.
With distances ranging from 5 – 100 miles, wheelchair users of all ages and abilities are able to enter and pick a distance most suited to their level of fitness. The miles can be completed anywhere, at any time and in however many stints you require/at a pace you feel comfortable at – how fast you go is completely up to you!
And once you complete your first virtual challenge, why not aim to complete another one the following month? Perhaps you could increase the distance and try to cover even more miles than the previous month.
You can find out more about virtual challenges here: What is a Wheelchair Virtual Challenge?
30-Day Fitness Challenge
Another type of challenge which is great for inspiring you to continually keep active is to set yourself a 30-day fitness challenge. The exact details of your challenge can be tailored to your needs and preferences, but the general rule is that you must do some form of exercise each day for 30 days.
The activities you choose to do are entirely up to you. Some example activities include swimming, wheelchair sprinting, rowing, strength training and sitting exercises.
We advise varying the type of physical activity you complete to prevent your challenge from becoming repetitive and monotonous.
Joining in with a YouTube workout video can be an extremely effective way to exercise. There are a whole host of workout videos available specifically for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility; and they’re all completely free!
From 20-minute HIIT classes to 10-minute arm workouts and strength training tutorials for beginners, there are a huge variety of videos for you to copy and exercise alongside with.
What’s particularly great about YouTube workout videos is that you can pause and rewind to see an exercise again to ensure your form is correct. You can also perform the workout from the comfort of your own home, so you don’t need a gym membership!
Wheelchair Virtual Challenges with Race At Your Pace
Here at Race At Your Pace we’re passionate about rewarding you for keeping active. That’s why everyone who completes one of our virtual challenges – regardless of the distance – receives an awesome medal!
If you’re looking to get started with a virtual challenge, you can sign-up here today.
We offer a variety of distances so anyone of any ability, from beginners to experienced athletes, can enter. Complete your wheelchair virtual challenge wherever you like, whenever you like and at whatever pace you like.
Enter a wheelchair virtual challenge today >
See more: Benefits of Virtual Challenges
See more: The Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health