Active Hands gym video

Active Hands gym video


Hi, my name is Rob Smith. I’ve been doing
disability sports for quite a few years, I’ve been a wheelchair rugby player for many years
and now I’m doing wheelchair track racing. I’m here today outside this gym, we’re going
to go inside in a minute and have a look at what kind of equipment they’ve got and what
you can do to use that equipment as a wheelchair user and someone with a disability. My injury
is a spinal cord injury so I’ve had a neck injury so my hands are quite badly affected
and also I have an incomplete injury so I do have some core function but we’ll go inside
and see what we can do for anyone with a disability and see how we can adapt the equipment and
what we can do to have a good workout. So let’s go inside and see what we can do. Right,
okay, so, looks like it’s a really nice gym, got lots of good equipment here. It’s not
a fully accessible gym and that’s the whole idea, we want to be here and see what exercises
we can do to have a good workout, but in a gym which is just an average gym you might
find near you. So, we’ve got some gym machines here we’ll go on them later, there’s some
free-weights over there. This is the TRX system so we can have a good go on that later on
and we’ll just see how we can adapt what we’ve got with some bits of equipment and some good
ideas. So let’s go and have a workout! For the equipment in this gym, I’ve separated
the workout into 4 different sections. Let’s begin with the first section, free weights.
Using the gym’s free weights is a great way to get an all-over fitness regime started.
Sometimes it can be difficult to grip onto the free weights if your hand function is
poor. Here I’m using some Active Hands gripping aids to help me hold the free weights. It
attaches round the wrist, and then over the hand, there are some handy bits to help you
pull it through with your fingers and it does up really tightly. The gripping aids allow
you to hold the weights with your hand and they stay firm and secure in your hand while
you do a workout. Just to go through a few examples of free weight exercises you can do, I’ll be
doing these ones in the chair. We can start with bicep curls. Then we’ve got a shoulder
press, it’s always good to work using a mirror as well to see what you’re doing and to check
you’re doing the right type of exercise and that your form when you’re doing it is good.
I’m feeling very confident holding this weight above my head, it’s not going to slip at all.
This is a straight arm shoulder raise, might wanna hold on to the other side of your chair
just to get your balance. Now we’re doing a tricep press, this weight’s quite heavy
for me for this exercise so make sure you vary the weight according to what exercise
you’re doing. I’m just doing all these with one weight just for the speed of showing you.
Another good exercise is a bent over row, this really strengthens the back of your shoulders
for the upstroke of a push on your chair. Some people may find it easier to work from
a bench, this one has got a solid back to give you a bit more support, and you’re not
likely to tip over like you could do in your chair. Again, there’s this possibility of
the same exercises, here I’m just using my hand to brace myself in the chair just to
get a bit more balance. Here are a few handy hints and tips: When using free weights I
often find it’s useful to use the heavy use gripping wrap, this is another Active Hands
product, it’s a neoprene wrap which goes around the weight handle, it pads it out a little
bit and it stops it from slipping even more and gives you a little bit more support and
comfort. To avoid discomfort on the thumb when lifting heavy weights try these thumb
protectors, they just create a barrier between your skin and the weight itself and work really
well with the other Active Hands products. Bench press is a great exercise for the shoulders
and the triceps, but particularly for the pectoral muscles. I’m going to use somebody
to help me spot here because without good hand function it’s very difficult to balance
a weight and without being able to grip it you don’t want it to roll off on to you. I’m
also finding it very difficult on this quite narrow bench to keep my balance when I’m trying
to press. I prefer to be as independent as possible in the gym but sometimes doing the
bench press, using somebody to spot for you can safely help increase the rate or repetitions.
For other ways to do pectoral exercises we’ll use the machines shown in the next section.
As well as the free weights, many gyms will have weights machines where you can do many
similar exercises. Some will have seats that will swing away to allow you to workout from
your wheelchair, sometimes you may have to transfer. This exercise is very similar to
a bench press but from a seated vertical position. It’s also possible to use this machine to
do a fly exercise, this will start with the arms and a wider starting position and they
would come together in the middle as you push forward. This works your inner pecs. The lat
pull-down machine here is quite a difficult one to use, the seat is quite small and there’s
no back support at all. You may be able to use somebody else to help you support your
trunk if you’re in this situation or many other machines have a back support that you
can use. Here I’m also using the Active Hands looped exercise aids, these are really good
if you’re using two hands at the same time because it allows you to get on and off the
bar completely independently. The loops are stiff and stay open so that you can easily
slide them on and off the bar at the start and the finish of your workout. The starting
position of the bar would probably now be too high to reach, a good tip is to pull the
pin out first, get somebody’s help to pull the bar down, then push the pin back in the
appropriate position. You should then be able to reach the bar easily. Once you’ve found
a comfortable position for your hands on the bar, pull the bar down behind your head so
it just about touches your shoulders. As you release the bar up again, release it slowly
so that you get a workout on the way up as well. You can also pull the bar down in front
of your head so it touches your chest, this works a slightly different set of muscles.
When you finish it’s easy to slide your hands off the bar because the loops stay open and
are stiff. The shoulder press is another great exercise we can do in the gym, as you push
up, exhale, and as the weight comes down, inhale. You should be doing smooth motions
up and down. Some gyms may have other machines you can use as well, but the last one we will
use in this gym is a seated row machine. I’m going to use the Active Hands gripping aids
again, they do up round the wrist, and we’ll be using the loops to grab the handles of
this seated row machine, they’ll just slide on pretty easily and it gives you a nice firm
grip so you can pull as big a weight as you need to. This is a great exercise for wheelchair
users, most wheelchair exercises use a forward pushing motion and this one works in opposition
and strengthens the shoulders at the back rather than at the front. This exercise can
help prevent forward rounding of the shoulders which is a common problem after many years
of wheelchair use. Cable and pulley machines are great for disabled users, you can move
the pulley height to suit various exercises and workouts can be done from a wheelchair
or removable chair if required. This first exercise simulates the downward stroke of
a push of a wheelchair, vary the weights and the repetitions for the desired workout. Less
weight and more repetitions for stamina, more weight and and less repetitions for strength.
There are often various types of handles and attachments which can be used
on these types of cable-and-pulley machines. Personally, I prefer these ones with solid
handles but a flexible strap, these ones enable you to pull using the strap part of the handle
alone if you have the wrist strength to do this. This exercise, done with a straight
or nearly straight arm works the shoulders and simulates the latter point of a push
stroke. This is different to a tricep exercise and builds strength using the second half
of the stroke from the push rims for wheelchair racing or for swimming. Doing tricep raises
above the head isolates the triceps and adds the extra weight of lifting your own arm to
the exercise. Ideally keep your arm vertical and still and only lift from the elbow. Alternatively,
move the pulley to a high position and push down from the elbows with the arms at the
sides. Either can be done with both hands at the same time on one handle if required
and balance allows. To increase strength across the back of the shoulders either set the pulleys
low and work to a diagonal high position or the other way around with the pulleys high
working to a low position. Imagine squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do this
exercise. As well as building strength, the cable and pulley machines are great for conditioning
the body and preventing injury. With long term wheelchair use, rotator cuff problems
can be an injury that often occurs. This exercise helps prevent rotator cuff problems in the
future. Keep your arm at your side and rotate from the elbow, inwards across the body. Perform
this exercise pulling inwards with both arms then also go outwards with both arms. Not
every gym will have all the reattachments for these cable and pulley machines or you
may prefer to attach directly to the carabiner on the machines. Here I’m using the Active
Hands D-Ring aid which allows me to attach directly onto the carabiners, this enables
me to perform all the exercises previously shown and some others in addition: tricep
raises, straight arm lifts, across the body pulls (here I’m just using one hand and stabilising
myself from the machine with the other), bicep curls, and shoulder raises (here just trying
to lift your shoulders nicely up to your ears and hold for a second). I’ve recently really
enjoyed using the punchbag on the TRX system, I didn’t get on very well with the gym’s normal
boxing gloves so I used some of the Active Hands products to help me. Here I’ve got one
of the gripping wraps, attached around a piece of plastic tubing and I’m putting that in
my hand with the general purpose gripping aids, these work really well as boxing gloves
and the addition of the padded bar inside your hand stops your fingers being crushed
when you punch the bag. I find it best to attach both wrist straps first, then when
you’ve got one of the bars in your hand you can then struggle to do the last one, it is
a little bit difficult but with a bit of perseverance you can do the second one up, but you might
have to use your teeth at some points. Once they’re both tight, let’s get ready to box.
I don’t profess to be an expert at boxing, but I do find this is a great exercise, this
is great for a cardiovascular workout. It also improves fast twitch muscles fibres which
are great for sports requiring quick bursts of power such as accelerating and rapid changes
of direction. Working from a wheelchair, the chair will move about so you can try punching
with one hand while steadying the chair with the other. If core strength and balance in
your chair is more of an issue, try putting the chair up against the TRX system, you can
then lean the punch bag on your knees and you’re in a more secure position to do your
workout. With the bag on your knees you can get much closer to it and you can also use
your head to stabilise yourself a bit. I find varying the speed and position that you punch
the bag will work slightly different muscles. Here I’m using the tricep dip bar in a high
position to do a chin-up exercise, I’ve attached one hand to each side of the bar using the
Active Hands looped aids. With my feet on the floor, I just about have enough balance
to be able to do this exercise. Alternatively, you can use one bar and put the loops in front
of each other and bring your head up either side of the bar. When you’re finished, just
try and position yourself back onto the chair. This TRX system has a mini trampoline which
is great for throwing the heavy medicine ball against. This is a great exercise for triceps
and balance. To vary a workout you can change the weight of the medicine ball and the distance
away from the trampoline from which you throw it. Bear in mind that a heavy medicine ball
could knock you out the back of your chair when you catch it. This is excellent for sports
such as basketball and wheelchair rugby. The last exercise for using the TRX system is
the heavy ropes, use the general purpose gripping aid from Active Hands to attach these to your
hands, attaching the second one might be a little bit difficult, but you should be able
to do it using your teeth, stretch the ropes out, move the ropes in opposition to work
your shoulders and your arms, it’s also really good for balance. As well as working the ropes
in opposition, you can do this exercise with both the ropes going up and down at the same
time. Thanks for watching and enjoy your workout. Before undertaking any exercise always consult
a doctor or medical professional for advice on your own condition and if you are safe
to exercise and use gym equipment. To avoid muscle strain, both before and after exercising
you should get your body ready with a series of stretches, ask a trained physiotherapist
if you need advice on the stretches that will suit your condition. These exercises are just
some useful examples of what can be done in the gym, equipment and therefore the exercises
you can do will vary from gym to gym.

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