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 exercises, the cable and pulley machines give you the chance to completely customise your workout. You can work on various muscles using a variety of exercises, such as: tricep raises, tricep extensions, diagonal pulls, inward and outward cuff rotations, straight arm lifts, bicep curls, shoulder raises, lateral raises and many more. If you want to concentrate on strength and muscle building then use heavier weights with lower reps; if you want to concentrate on stamina then use lighter weights with higher reps. These machines are also great for maintaining healthy joints, something wheelchair users are prone to having issues with, especially with their rotator cuffs. And if, like myself, there are some exercises where you struggle to hold onto the grip provided, then simply unhook the grip, pop a pair of D-Ring Aids around your wrists and attach them directly to the karabiner, using one at a time or both together, depending on the exercise. The cable and pulley machines are a favourite of track racers and swimmers, as they are able to use the machines to mimic the downward thrust of a wheelchair push or the straight armed push of an arm through the water.