The Hip Walk
This is one of the best exercises for anyone who uses a wheelchair. It keeps the
pelvis mobile and tones the muscles needed for transferring. By shifting your
weight from side to side, you will also use the trunk muscles which, in turn,
stimulates the internal organs.
- With your hips, "walk" forward to the front of the seat and then back.
Repeat 4 times.
- Then rock from side to side 4 times.
- Now rock forward and back 4 times, shifting your weight from back of
hips forward to legs at front edge of chair.
Along with the hip walk, the following exercise variation can be used as a
first step to engage the muscles needed to stand up from a chair and to
reinforce proper posture as you get up. After performing steps #1 and #2
directly above, but before rocking forward and back, move far forward to the
front edge of the chair. Then proceed as follows:
Put one foot forward on floor and one foot slightly back. Place hands on arms of chair.
(If there are no arms on chair, place hands by your sides on the seat of chair.)
Rock forward and back 3 times. On the third rock forward, try a "seat lift":
gently tighten abdominals, keep the back straight with chest and chin lifted,
and lift buttocks slightly off seat of chair -- just high enough to clear the
chair. Then sit back down.
Repeat the "seat lift" activity 3 times. The fourth time, if possible, lift
yourself to a full standing position.
Now sit back down, put the other foot forward, and repeat.