5 Exercises for Wheelchair-Bound Seniors

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home care exercises for seniors in a wheelchair

Some of the most common types of exercises include simple cardio, like jogging, walking, riding a bike, or taking the stairs. They’re easy enough for many people to do and stay active. But for wheelchair-bound seniors, this is unfortunately not the case. Wheelchair-bound seniors have restricted mobility and need alternative exercises to live active and independent lives. We’re sharing 5 different exercises below that are great for keeping seniors in wheelchairs strong and well!

Shoulder Retractions

With your ab muscles contracted, sit up straight and hold your arms at should level and keep your hands facing down. Next, curve your fingers (as if you’re gripping handles) and push your arms out straight in front of you. Without locking your joints, try and extend them as far as you can. Then bend your elbows and pull your arms back so that the elbows are slightly behind the torso. Now squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat!

Chest Squeezes

Sit up straight, keep your abs engaged, and hold a medicine ball or balloon at chest level. Then squeeze it between your hands so that your chest muscles contract and slowly push the ball forward. Keep pushing until your elbows are straight but not locked. Squeeze the ball throughout the whole movement, and then pull it back to your chest and repeat. 

Toe Taps

Sit straight, keep your abs engaged, and keep your feet flat on the ground. Next, tilt your toes upwards towards the ceiling, and then point them back down towards the floor. Repeat this motion several times.

Knee Lifts

While sitting straight up with your abs engaged and feet flat on the ground, slowly raise one leg. Begin to bend your knee and lift your leg as high as you can while remaining comfortable. Now lower your foot back to the floor and repeat this motion with your other leg. Continue these motions while alternating legs several times over.

Aqua Training

Getting in the water and out of the wheelchair to do some aqua training exercises and swimming are good ways to get physical. Exercising in water is especially beneficial since water better supports the body, and you’re less likely to experience joint discomfort.

Call Home Care Assistance if you’re looking to learn more about keeping wheelchair bound seniors healthy, or if you would like further information regarding our senior care programs.


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