Often, someone mentions that they are unable to do much exercise due to
bad backs, knees, hips, etc so here you go: You can do something-chair
by Michael Roussell
We have received many requests
for exercises that are suitable for someone who is confined to a
wheelchair or has limited mobility. While many weight lifting movements are
completed in the standing or lying position, we recognize that for some
people these positions are uncomfortable or impossible. This does not
mean that you should give up on resistance training and fitness. There are
many exercises that can be done sitting and performed in a manner to
elevate your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness.
This month, we put two seated movements together in what is known as
a “superset” to work both the triceps (the back of your arms) and the
shoulders. To complete this exercise, all you need is a chair and one
soup can that you can grip firmly in your hand. To start with, select a
can with a weight that allows you to complete the superset at least
once. As you grow stronger, you can increase the weight. If you have a
dumbbell, it can be used in place of the soup can.
The first movement in the sequence is an overhead triceps extension.
Place the can in your left hand and, without moving your shoulders,
extend your arm straight above your head. This is the starting position.
Keep the part of your arm from the elbow to the shoulder still and bend
your arm at the elbow and lower the can behind your head. This is the
midpoint of the movement. Pause for one second and reverse the movement,
straightening out your arm again. Repeat this movement seven more times
for a total of eight reps.
The second movement is a shoulder press. You will start the movement
with the can (or dumbbell) in your left hand, with your arm folded next
to your body so that the hand with the can is resting on your left
shoulder. Now press your arm straight up above your head, pausing at the
top for one second. Lower the weight back down to your shoulder - that is
one rep. Repeat this movement seven more times.
Now start over with the can in your right hand. Complete the superset
of eight reps of each movement with your right arm.
What makes this a “superset”? A superset is two movements done back
to back with little to no rest in between. The chart below outlines how
the workout should progress.
Left Arm Overhead Triceps Extension x 8 reps Little to No
Rest Shoulder Press x 8 reps Little to No Rest Switch Arms
Right Arm Overhead Triceps Extension x 8 reps Little to No Rest
Shoulder Press x 8 reps Little to No Rest Rest 90-120 seconds and
repeat 2 more times
You will notice that I specify “Little to No Rest” between movements.
You should tailor your rest periods to your own personal fitness level.
Starting out, you may need to take longer rest periods but as you
develop a higher level of fitness, you can shorten the rest time. The key is
to push yourself to work hard but, at the same time, listen to your