Weight machines are designed to provide resistance for exercising various muscle groups through repetition in which an individual can increase strength and muscular endurance. Individuals can increase strength in their upper and lower extremities while in a stationary position or in their wheelchairs. A healthy lifestyle is a result of many factors. Some of the most important factors include participation in physical activity and exercise. Exercise is particularly important for individuals with disabilities.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF WEIGHT TRAINING
- Increases and maintains heart and lung efficiency.
- Increases and maintains strength, flexibility, mobility and coordination.
- Improves and maintains bone structure and strength.
- Reduces risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Increases energy, endurance, and stamina.
- See the Training with Weights or Resistance fact sheet.
- Consult a health care professional before beginning a weight training program.
- Devise a program to suit your personal needs.
- Set realistic goals to help you stay motivated.
- Lift weights in a group for social and safety benefits.
- Always use a spotter when lifting free weights.
The majority of weight lifting machines available today are designed for use by individuals without disabilities. Fortunately, there are several options for individuals interested in an accessible or user-friendly weight training experience.
Access by Pulse Fitness Systems manufactures eight different upper extremity weight machines designed with seats that swivel to the side, allowing "access" to individuals using wheelchairs.
Progym distributed by Flaghouse, and Ability Flex distributed by No Boundaries, provide single station, multi-exercise training within a relatively small space.
The Equalizer 1000 by Helm is a multi-station, multi-exercise unit designed to allow several people to work out at the same time. Uppertone by GPK is promoted for those without handgrip strength and provides unassisted exercise.
Tricep extension machines (Rickshaw Exercisers) build muscle strength used in transfers, pressure relief and wheelchair propulsion.
Wrist Cuffs - Individuals with various degrees of hand function can wear wrist cuffs or activity mitts in order to participate in weight training.
Activity Mitts - Gloves or activity mitts are also available for individuals with limited or no grasping ability. These gloves are particularly effective for gripping bars on weight machines or free weights like barbells.
Wrist Cuffs & Grip Gloves Access to Recreation, (800) 634-4351
Patton Medical Glove, (904) 388-1182
Accessible Weight Machines Helm Distributing, Inc. (Equalizer 1000), (406) 883-2147
No Boundaries (Ability Flex), (800) 926-8637
Pulse Fitness Systems (Access), (204) 235-0904
GPK (Uppertone), (800) 468-8679
Flaghouse (Progym), (800) 793-7900
FOR MORE INFORMATION
NSCA, (719) 632-6722
Human Kinetics (above books), (800) 747-4457
More information on this and related topics may be available in the NCPAD Citation Database. Try searching with keywords: weight, training, etc.
The information provided here is offered as a service only. The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Center on Accessibility, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago do not formally recommend or endorse the equipment listed. As with any products or services, consumers should investigate and determine on their own which equipment best fits their needs and budget.