Seasonal Exercises

Exercises you can stick to this festive season

Stay Active

Exercises you can stick to this festive season

Staying active during the festive season can be difficult. Keeping active improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and promotes stronger bones, muscles and joints.

Our wonderful students have assisted our NeuroMoves team in putting together some festive exercises to keep you active over the Christmas period!

Seated Piriformis Stretch

Sitting in your chair, place one ankle on the opposite knee.
Lean forward using your hands to gently push your knee down to increase the stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side per day.

This stretch can alleviate lower back or neuropathic pain that is related to sitting for long periods of time.

Seated Glute Stretch with Rotation

Sitting in your chair, cross your knee over the top of the other leg then rotate your body in the opposite direction, using your arms to rotate more to increase the stretch.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times per side, each day.

This stretch can help alleviate pain in the mid and lower regions of your back that can be related to spending long periods of time in a sitting position.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Sitting in your chair place one leg on a block or stool in front of you. Lean forward, stabilising your knee, to ensure it stays straight.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times each leg, per day.

Tight hamstrings can put an increased strain on your lower back, causing pain and discomfort. It also contributes to any difficulty you may experience when you are in a functional long sitting position for personal care tasks.

Ensure you stretch only as far as comfortable, or stop when you feel some resistance. If required, please ensure you have something to hold onto either side for safety.

Theraband Shoulder Extension

Anchor a theraband around a table leg. Keeping your elbows straight, move both arms backward as far as comfortable. Repeat 3 x 12 reps per day.

It is essential to strengthen the muscles at the back of your shoulders to balance the stronger muscles at the front, as the front muscles are constantly working out due to pushing your wheelchair. This will reduce your chances of shoulder impingement and pain.

Theraband Low Row

Anchor the theraband around a table leg. Keeping elbows bent, row both arms backward as far as comfortable, and feel your shoulder blades pinch together. Repeat 3 x 12 reps per day.

It is essential to strengthen muscles to stabilise your shoulder blades, and reduce your chances of shoulder impingement and pain.

Backward Shoulder Rolls

Draw backward circles with your shoulders, nice and slowly. Every few circles pause and hold your shoulder blades together and down for 3 seconds before continuing. Repeat for 2 minutes, 3 times a day.

Sitting in the same position for too long can cause overactivity of the trapezius muscles, which can lead to neck pain. By repositioning the shoulder blades into a more optimal position, you can help to shut off the overactivity.

Pectoral Stretch

In your chair, sit in a doorway so your arm and shoulder are in front of a door frame. Raise your arm and bend your elbow to rest it on the all.. Gently lean forward and rotate away from the wall to feel the stretch in your pectoral muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times per day on each side.

Tight pectoral muscles from pushing your wheelchair can lead to overactive trapezius muscles and cause shoulder impingement, as well as shoulder and neck pain. Make sure that you don’t raise your shoulder above a 90 degree angle.

Theraband Shoulder External Rotation

Anchor a theraband at elbow height on one side. Grab it with your furthest hand. Keeping your right elbow bent by your side, slowly swing your hand in an outward direction as far as possible before returning to the initial position. Repeat 3 x 12 reps on each arm, per day.

Controlling your external shoulder rotation is vital to ensure the stability of your shoulder, and improve on it during weight bearing activities such as transferring.

Share these exercises with friends an family, as anyone can benefit from keeping active. Our NeuroMoves team have made a downloadable PDF for you to print out and hang up, with a handy exercise diary to keep you motivated and gradually progress your exercise program.