Welcome to the Workout page for Bustling Butterflies who are mobile on the floor but not yet on their feet.

This page has been created for Bustling Butterflies, those who will probably use their wheelchair outside or for longer distances but are mobile on the floor inside and may be walking with a stick or walking frame for some of the time.

This page provides links to different exercise and workout videos which may be suitable for your child.

exercise for children in wheelchairs

Exercise is beneficial to everyone’s general health including cardiovascular health, mental health and helping to control weight. For those with physical disabilities or those who aren’t yet walking, there are many added benefits.

  • Improves strength which leads to better gross motor skills and more independent living.

  • Improves sleep which is very often a problem with those with physical difficulties.

  • Reduces constipation – as the body moves, the muscles in the stomach contracts and helps move stomach contents to help with painful trapped wind and constipation.

  • Protect joints by increasing muscle strength which takes pressure off the joints. 80% of 21 yr olds with Cerebral Palsy have chronic pain in their joints so getting stronger can help reduce pain and maintain or increase their function.

  • The pull of muscles and weight bearing both increase bone density – reducing the risk of fractures.

  • Exercise can help to maintain or increase muscle length through active stretching – keeping ranges of motion in joints and enabling better gross motor skills and thus improved function and independence.

  • Exercise can reduce fatigue and improve exercise tolerance so improving function and independence in every day tasks. 

These videos are mostly exercise for children in wheelchairs but you could adapt if your child works well in a high kneeling position.

  • This video provides slower paced wheelchair exercises.  

  • It has been made for those with spinal injuries but would work well for those with Cerebral Palsy, or other neurological conditions, with arm involvement/quadriplegia.

  • There are some lovely exercises at the end with weights – use socks, bottles, herb bottles or anything you’ve got lying around the house instead! 

  • Great video for young people in wheelchairs or with some standing ability.

  • Mostly aerobic exercises to get you out of breath and good for keeping mobile in your chair – great for all round fitness.  

  • Lovely wheelchair exercises for arms and some leg exercises – great stretches.

  • This also has some options for people who can stand – or you can mix and match if you tire easily 

  • Another lovely video but this is for an aerobics workout. 

  • This also has some options for people who can stand – or you can mix and match if you tire easily.

https://parasport.org.uk/home-workout-kris-2   

  • This first video shows neck, arm and shoulder positions and stretches – going through all the movements in clear and easily follow-able instructions. 

  • This concentrates more on the spine but also involves some arm movements at the same time. 

  • This series has been done by health professionals and therapists and there are a few different options:

  • Triplegia, Muscular Dystrophy, Hypotonia, Diplegia and Ataxia.

  • These are all for mobile children but you may be able to adapt for some of the children who aren’t quite walking. 

  • This is a series of high intensity, cardio workouts to do in a wheelchair or in a sitting position.  

  • They are probably best for those of you with moderate to high function in your arms and body. There is some leg work but you can keep going with your arms if you are unable to follow the leg exercises. The exercises are fast paced but you can follow at your own speed and join in with the bits you are able to do.  

  • If you don’t have a stretchy band, use a tin/ bottle/ piece of fruit etc to add some weight to the movement. As you get used to the exercises, you can try to stretch further in each movement or increase your speed or weight to progress.   

More fun resources for Bustling Butterflies

Thank you for visiting Gympanzees’ website. All information provided by Gympanzees is of general nature and for educational / entertainment purposes. It is up to you as the parent or family member to judge what is appropriate and safe for your child. No information provided by Gympanzees should replace any professional information and advice that you have been given and speak to your therapist or doctor if you are unsure of anything. Should you use any of the information provided by Gympanzees, you do so at your own risk and hold Gympanzees harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.