Exercises For Wheelchair Users

wheelchair exercises

It’s important for everyone to get an active lifestyle, and this can also be achieved for wheelchair users too. Through regular aerobic exercises, wheelchair users can implement low impact exercises to support their mental health and wellbeing. So, let’s take a look at just some of the exercises wheelchair users can use. 

Cardiovascular Exercise

This type of exercise aims to increase your heart rate and get you warmed up. If you’re new to exercise, performing these for 10 minutes to start will help lead your way into this new exercise. 

Cardiovascular exercises include sitting, whilst lifting weight, a rowing machine adapted for wheelchair users, and sports too! If you’d like to learn more about adaptations, such as vehicle adaptations for mobility support, read our latest blog post. 

Weights Exercises

There are a number of weight training exercises you can perform whilst in a wheelchair, including bicep curls, chest expansions and overhead press. 

To note, you can also perform these exercises without any weight to begin with. Then, slowly build up to a comfortable weight of dumbbells. 

The repeated motion of moving your wheelchair can result in injury, as the chest and shoulders are continuously being worked. Due to this, it is advised that you focus on smaller muscle groups to support motion. 

Where To Go

Whether you enjoy performing exercises alone, or wish to find a group you can exercise with, there are many places you can go to keep active. If you have a local gym, it will be a great idea to get in touch and see how they facilitate wheelchair users. This could include, ramp entrance to the building and lifts if there is more than one floor level.

If you’d rather exercise in the comfort of your own home, there is an abundance of video content you can train along too! Regarding equipment, a resistance band is great for performing muscle-strengthening exercises too! 


There are many wheelchair friendly sports today, and this is a great opportunity for wheelchair users to not only get active, but meet new people too! You can also enjoy the swimming pool if you’re a wheelchair user too, which is a good exercise alternative. 

Some wheelchair sports that have been celebrated in the Paralympics include tennis, basketball, badminton and archery. Having a disability shouldn’t stop individuals from enjoying the excitement of sport, and today they don’t have to.

Finally, if you’re looking for a way to get active whilst using a wheelchair, there is an option for everyone to enjoy. Good luck finding your new favourite!