Activity: Free weights
Used in conjunction with: General Purpose Gripping Aid, Heavy Use Gripping Wrap
Beneficial for: Increasing strength, power and muscle tone in arms and shoulders
Free weights are the bread and butter of many people’s trips to the gym, especially if disability has meant that ‘leg day’ is permanently skipped! When this is the case, building up strength in your arms becomes absolutely essential, as having the strength and ability to lift yourself, do various transfers and push a wheelchair can often be the difference between complete independence and having to rely on others. So it can be all the more frustrating if, due to limited hand or finger function, you struggle to maintain a firm hold on the weights.
Thankfully, by strapping on a General Purpose Gripping Aid, you are able to achieve an iron grip that allows you to lift any size weight of your choosing; wrapping the Heavy Use Gripping Wrap around the weight beforehand for extra support and comfort if needed. Then you are free to explore a range of muscle building and toning exercises from a standing or seated position, such as: bicep curls, reverse bicep curls, tricep presses, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses, straight arm shoulder raises, bent over rowing and more.
It is important to vary the weights you lift, especially when doing tricep exercises, as it is common for quadriplegics to have weakened triceps. Doing a free weight gym session can be particularly beneficial for an athlete involved in a sport which relies on power and/or bursts of strength. Field events such as the discus, shot put or club throw are entirely based around a combination of power and technique, so the ability to train with free weights is vital in achieving success.
Come back tomorrow for more ideas on how to improve your fitness in 2017.