Welcome to the Seated Exercises and Workout page for people who are a wheelchair user with little or no learning difficulty.
This page is for our Busy Butterflies – children and young people who have physical disabilities and spend much of their time in their wheelchair with little or no learning difficulty.
Here we have put together a list of our favourite exercise videos for our Busy Butterflies.
Exercise is beneficial to everyone’s general health. It helps with cardiovascular health, prevents things like stroke and heart disease, great for self-esteem, releases endorphins so good for mental health, help your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, help control weight.
Improve strength which leads to better gross motor skills and more independent living.
Improve sleep which is very often a problem with those with physical difficulties.
Reduce constipation – as the body moves, the muscles in the stomach contract and help move stomach contents to help with painful trapped wind and constipation.
Protect joints by increasing muscle strength which takes pressure off joints. many adults with Cerebral Palsy and other neurological impairments have chronic pain in their joints. Exercise in childhood can help prevent and reduce the 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.
Here are lots of amazing seated exercises for your Busy Butterfly
This video 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!
This is a great video for young people in wheelchairs or with some standing ability.
Exercises are aerobic so good for your fitness and good for keeping mobile in your chair.
These are lovely wheelchair exercises for stretching the arms and some leg exercises. This also has some options for people who can stand – or you can mix and match if you tire easily
Parasport home workout: aerobics
This second video from Parasport 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.
This first video shows neck, arm and shoulder positions and stretches – going through all the movements with clear instructions.
This second video concentrates more on the spine but also involves some arm movements at the same time.
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 helpful Busy Butterfly resources
Here are a selection of suitable Our Home videos
The scavenger hunt is really simple and easy to set up. It can be adapted to suit any disability and household.