Wheelchair Weightlifting Tips
If you read a previous posting of mine “Soda Jerk” you’ll be happy to know that after five weeks I am still holding fast to my vow to drop soda (pop, cola, soft drinks) out of my life. With this new challenge, I have pushed myself to self-improve in other ways. The first thing on my agenda is to work out more. Get my arms in shape, continue to work on the gut. So, out came the dumbbells from underneath the coffee table, where they’ve sat for quite some time untouched. However, in my gusto to better myself, as is often the case, I overdid it. The last time I worked out was two days ago, and my back and chest were still killing me this morning, though I’m a little better now. You know how it feels when you drink cold water too fast and your chest hurts when you take a deep breath? Yeah…
I have 10 lb. dumbbells, and I had my spine fused by steel rods 13 years ago. Usually doing a couple of sets of 30 or 40 reps is fine if I am careful, but right now, let’s just say my dumbbells are not compatable with the dumbbell lifting them. I have searched and searched the internet trying to find a site that gives simple tips for wheelchair weightlifters, and I really haven’t found anything specific, or very in-depth for that matter. And for that reason, this posting really should be part 4 in my “Things There Should Be, But Aren’t series. Oh well.
I am no expert, let me make that clear, but I do want to remind wheelchair weightlifters of a few things, especially if you are about to start up again after a long period of inactivity. And especially if you have ever had your spine fused. These are the three key things that I neglected two days ago.
1. GO SLOW, meaning start with small amounts. Don’t jump into anything or you will aggravate your arms, chest and back.
2. Keep your spine straight, and don’t let yourself jerk from one side to the other. The reason you lift two at a time is to help keep yourself balanced. If you jerk from side to side, it will aggravate the muscles in the back, which is why it is infinitely important to do your sets slowly as well. Trust me, I found this out for myself the hard way.
3. Work your way up from small amounts to larger amounts, and you will gradually see an improvement in your muscle tone, as well as cardiovascular health, and energy level.
Sounds simple right? It is. Just be patient. Good luck!