Exercising with a disability

Living with a disability can make it hard to keep fit, and even more so during lockdown.

Physical activity isn’t just important for your physical health, but for your mental wellbeing. With gyms still shut and sports activities at a minimum, we’re here with some exercises that can all be done from the comfort of your own home.

1. Sit to stand
If you’re looking to improve your lower body strength and stability, this is a great exercise to start with. Simply sit on a chair, stand up straight, and return to sitting position. Make sure you keep an eye on your posture and keep your back up straight.

If you need help, place your hands on your knees and push up. This exercise is good for people whose lower body is present. Watch an example here.

2. Air punches

If you are a wheelchair user, try doing some simple air punches to raise your heart rate. You could even do this holding some weights to build your strength and help burn calories.

3. Reverse flys

If you’re able to use your arms for upper body training, try these reverse flys. All you need is a simple resistance band. To do this exercise you need to hold the band with two hands straight in front of you. Stretch the band in an outward and backward motion. Then repeat for however long feels comfortable to you.

4. Chair leg extension

This is a great for stretching your legs and building muscle. Start by sitting upright in a chair, hold your armrest and slowly lift one foot upward. Stretch your leg with your foot and then slowly bring the foot back to the ground. Repeat and then do the same for the other leg.

5. Bicep curls

To do this grabs some weights, we recommend dumbbells. If you don’t have this you could always substitute with some cans of beans! To practice this exercise hold one weight in each hand, palms facing upwards. Then bring the weights up using your arms and bending your elbows.

6. Reverse crunches

This is suitable for people with control over their abdominal muscles. Start in a seated position on the floor with your knees slightly bent and arms stretched forward. Then slowly lower your body to the floor engaging with your core muscles. To bring yourself back up, bring your body to the side and use your arms to help you sit upright again. Repeat for whoever many times feels comfortable.

We hope these exercises help you through lockdown and don’t forget to always stay hydrated, to have a warm up before exercising and a cool down afterwards.

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