Activity: Weights machines
Used in conjunction with: Looped Exercise Aids
Beneficial for: Increasing strength, power and muscle tone in arms, shoulders and upper torso
Weights machines can often be tricky for disabled gym goers to access, as most of them do not have removable seats, and so being able to use them will depend on the person’s ability to transfer and remain stable on a seat which is often on the petite side! However, it can be of great benefit if you are able to make use of these machines, as they can offer a balanced and simultaneous workout for your arms and shoulders, as well as the upper torso. Another benefit of these machines is that you can do a number of exercises without necessarily needing to ‘grip’ anything. Exercises such as tricep dips, various chest presses, shoulder presses, lateral raises and seated bench presses all require you to push; meaning that, as long as you can press your palms/arms against them, you should be able to complete them grip-free. And for exercises such as butterflies, seated rowing, seated shoulder shrugs, lateral pull downs etc, where you perform a pull motion, simply strap on a pair of Looped Exercise Aids, hook the loops over each bar/handle and begin. The Looped Exercise Aids enable you to get the same workout but without needing to grip or even hold the bars/handles! Doing a session on the weights machines offers a varied and balanced workout for those with limited arm and finger function, and similar to the free weights, is of benefit to athletes who require power and bursts of strength. Track racers need a strong start to a race, especially in short distance sprints, and so it is vital that the first few pushes be as powerful as possible. Similarly, players in team sports such as wheelchair rugby and basketball require the strength and power to push past, out-manoeuvre and, in rugby’s case, crash into opposition players!