Whatever you like to do in your free time, there’s probably a story here about it. Read about paralympians, summer hacks, kayaking & so much more!

Tony’s Story

Tony using General Purpose aids in the gym

I first began talking to Tony in December of 2015; he had recently purchased some Active Hands gripping aids and was interested in picking my brains about my life with spinal cord injury, the abilities I had regained, and how I used my Active Hands aids in everyday life. Through our interactions and via social media, I have seen just how far Tony has come in the last two years and the ever-increasing number of exercises he is able to do using his Active Hands aids. When I contacted him recently to get some information with which to base this…

“Life is for living!” – Ben Clark’s story

Ben Clark holding free weights with general purpose aids

Ben Clark is the man behind the YouTube channel ‘AdaptToPerform’ and head of strength, conditioning and sports science for a performance swimming club, working with some of the country’s best swimmers. This month, we’ve been chatting to him about his work, how and why he started his channel and what he hopes to achieve, for himself and others. In 2010, Ben ran into the sea, “Baywatch style”, and dove into a wave where the water was shallower than he expected. He hit his head and broke his neck, resulting in paralysis from below the chest, including his hands. Drawing on…

Finding confidence and independence

General Purpose aid Yemina on walker

Yemina is an active, fun and smart twelve year old from Canada who loves to read or hang out with friends.  She also has cerebral palsy which affects all of her movement and her level of independence.  Her mum, Shoshana, explains that Yemina’s cerebral palsy makes any activity involving movement a challenge, but particularly those involving hand control.  “She has a lot of extra movement through her arms and hands when she tries to use them.”  This extra movement means that pushing buttons, grasping items or maintaining a grip of them can be really challenging for Yemina. For years, Yemina…

José R. Maldonado – Stroke, A Personal Testimonial

Jose in the gym with the General Purpose aid. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, limb difference, stroke and more.

In December 2002 José Maldonado, a dedicated husband and father of two, suffered a devastating intra-cerebral hemorrhage; a type of stroke caused by the sudden rupture of an artery within the brain.  Unfortunately, like many stroke survivors, he experienced loss of function in both his lower and upper extremities, meaning he needed to use a wheelchair, struggled with aphasia, facial paralysis, and was overwhelmed by outside stimulation such as ambient noise. However, he was determined not to give up on his life, and after seeing what a profound effect his stroke had on his entire family he tried to find ways in which he…

Rehabilitation….and beyond.

Brandon doing a chin up using General Purpose aid. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, limb difference, stroke and more.

In 2012, Brandon Beack was an incredibly active and talented teenager.  In addition to showing real talent in music and dancing, Brandon was a highly aspirational gymnast, competing for Western Province in the South African championships.  His sights were firmly set on selection for the Junior Olympics and he was training for four hours, six days a week.                                                        However, a bad landing in training left Brandon with a complete Spinal Cord Injury at…

Jerod’s story

Jerod lifting free weights outside with General Purpose aid. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, limb difference, stroke and more.

Over the past year, we have featured the stories of some incredible athletes; people with a wide range of disabilities who compete at the highest level in their sports and have represented their country at the paralympics. Their stories have motivated and astounded us in equal measure! But sometimes the most encouraging stories are those of quieter achievements; regaining independence, arriving home from rehab and returning to daily lives after a traumatic injury. In 2011, Jerod was on holiday with his family. Excited to get into the ocean, he ran down the beach and dived in unfamiliar water, striking a…

Getting Active With Active Hands 2017: Exercise 6

Rob using General Purpose gripping aid to hold a free weight. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, stroke and more.

No Time Like The Present Over the last few days we have shown just a few of the possibilities open to you if you go to the gym with the right attitude and the right set of gripping aids! On top of the exercises listed here, are scores of others that can be undertaken and worked into your fitness routine, it is all about knowing what you want to get out of it and finding out what works best for you. With September’s Paralympics still fresh in people’s minds and the hunt already on for potential stars of the Tokyo Games,…

Getting Active With Active Hands 2017: Exercise 5

Gareth on rowing machine with Looped aids. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, stroke and more.

Activity: Rowing Machine Used in conjunction with: Looped Exercise Aids Beneficial for: Increasing strength in arms, shoulders and upper torso; increasing stamina and cardio; overall fitness I find the rowing machine to be a particularly useful piece of equipment and one that can actually be used from a wheelchair. The seat and slider can be unclipped from the front of the machine and moved out of the way with relative ease, leaving you free to pull up to the front of the rower, put your brakes on and get started. Similarly to the handbike, the rowing machine provides a great…

Getting Active With Active Hands 2017: Exercise 4

Gareth on handbike. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, stroke and more.

Activity: Handbike Used in conjunction with: General Purpose Gripping Aid Beneficial for: Increasing strength in arms; increasing stamina and cardio; overall fitness Static handbike machines are great for wheelchair users and those who struggle with treadmills or regular exercise bikes, as they allow you to work up a sweat, get a good, fitness-based workout and burn off some calories – especially handy after the Christmas period! The removable seat means that you can use this machine from your wheelchair and the varying resistance levels and programs mean each use can be tailored to fit that day’s workout; whether you want…

Getting Active With Active Hands 2017: Exercise 3

Rob with d-ring. Adaptive gym equipment. Suitable for reduced hand function: tetra, quad, cerebral palsy, SCI, spinal cord injury, limb difference, stroke and more.

Activity: Cable & pulley machines Used in conjunction with: D-Ring Aids Beneficial for: Increasing strength and muscle tone in arms and shoulders; maintaining suppleness and flexibility of joints; increasing stamina Cable and pulley machines are ideal for wheelchair users as you can often set them up at whatever height you want and do the exercises straight from your chair. The great thing about these machines is that they are designed for multiple exercises, as opposed to one exercise per machine, which is often the case with the weights machines mentioned previously. With the adjustable height and freedom to undertake numerous…