Ready to boost your physical and emotional health? Designed by our Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports coordinators, athletes and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation health professionals, this series of instructional exercise videos will help you build muscle, improve stretching and increase endurance.
Regardless of your ability or skill level, these exercises are a great way to begin physical activity or take it to the next level in the safety of your home.
While these are adaptive exercises, they can benefit able-bodied people, too.
Before you get started:
• Strength: It’s best to start a strengthening program two to three times a week with 48 hours (about two days) of rest in between workouts of the same muscle groups. Progress from eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise; when you can do 12 reps easily, then progress your resistance.
• Resistance: Don’t have weights? Try soup cans. If you’re using resistance bands or tubes, most have five levels, from light to heavy. It’s best to start light and progress to a more resistive band as you tolerate the workout and 12 reps becomes easy.
• Stretching: Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds; repeat two to four times.
The exercises focus on four areas of the body: shoulders, chest, back and arms.
About the athlete:
Demonstrating this series of exercises is former patient and WAS athlete Matthew Chaffee. Introduced to the world of adaptive sports after he was paralyzed in a 2014 motorcycle crash, Matthew said he loved how exercising made him feel.
Since then, Matthew’s embraced physical fitness and joined the Mary Free Bed Handcycle Team, first competing in the Grand Rapids Amway River Bank Run in 2017. Two years later, he competed in the Boston Marathon, placing fourth, and won the 25K handcycle division of the River Bank Run.
Matthew’s love for handcycling and exercising have only grown. He also played on Mary Free Bed’s wheelchair basketball and softball teams, and practiced with the wheelchair rugby team. He moved to Denver in mid-November and continues his training with hopes of qualifying for the Paralympics.