How To: Exercises from Your Wheelchair

Wheelchair Exercises

It’s the beginning of 2016, and you know what that means… New Year’s Resolutions! Although many people plan to better themselves in an assortment of ways, there’s one resolution that’s always at the top of the list: losing weight. And, rest assured, there are more diet/exercise tips floating around to keep most people busy throughout the entire year.

However, there are few resources out there for wheelchair users to find their own exercise routine, an important part of staying in shape. So at 101 Mobility, we decided to compile information from the Web to show that exercise is for people of all abilities (and comes with plenty of benefits)!

Benefits of Exercising While in a Wheelchair

  • Increase your endurance
  • Alleviate muscle/joint pains
  • Improve balance
  • Prevent injury
  • Build muscle/bone mass
  • Enhance your range of motion

Best Wheelchair Exercise Videos on YouTube
Check out some of these amazing Wheelchair Exercise or Seated Exercise videos from YouTube.

1. Seated Cardio Workout: Burn Calories Exercising from a Chair

SparkPeople has plenty of videos that can be done either individually or combined for maximum effect. Coach Nicole is easy to follow as she goes through this cardio workout to help wheelchair users burn calories.

2. Chair Workout: Seated Cardio

Fun and upbeat, Jessica Smith’s video will help you to pump up the volume as you push through a 40-minute cardio workout.

3. Disability Gym Workout

Rob Smith truly delivers in this instructional workout video that goes through how he performs a variety of exercises using free weights, weight machines, cable and pulley machine and the TRX system.

4. Aerobic Exercise for Individuals with Tetraplegia

Although the video was developed for those with tetraplegia, anyone in a wheelchair or power chair can get a great workout in from these aerobic exercises.

5. Seated Aerobics Exercise Class

After this 38 minute aerobics class, you’ll definitely feel the burn while you enjoy the the simple moves from the instructor – as well as the upbeat music!

6. Exercise Video for People with Intellectual and Physical Disabilities

This video offers features exercises that improve flexibility, strength, and cardio-respiratory endurance for both able-bodied and disabled individuals.

7. Ab Exercises for Disabled or Wheelchair Users

Throughout this 10-minute video, Trainer Martin Rowlands instructs Mo Kahn, who is wheelchair bound, how to perform exercises to strengthen his abs.

8. Seated Abs Workout: Chair Exercises for Your Core

We’ve got to admit, these SparkPeople videos are great! High-quality, great sound, and easy to understand. Check out Coach Nicole’s video on working out your core while seated.

Exercising from your Wheelchair or Power Chair: Safety First

If you have a medical condition, you might want to consult with a doctor before starting any new fitness program. While exercising in a wheelchair, when possible, be sure to have an instructor, caregiver, or partner present. Be sure not to exhaust your body to the point that you feel any kind of pain!

Wheelchair Yoga

Did you find these tips helpful? Take your routine even further by checking out our post on Wheelchair Yoga!


Thanks for checking out our wheelchair workout videos! Comment and let us know what workouts you use to stay in shape. And, of course, if you’re looking to increase mobility at your home or on-the-go, we’re here to help. Visit us online at



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Comments (20)

  1. Fit  May 21, 2019

    This is a very amazing article, I will certainly be sent the link of this post to my grandmother, she is not much healthy but I hope this post will boost some confidence in her to do exercise.

  2. aerobic workouts at home  April 15, 2019

    These are the best wheelchair exercises you can try. Thanks so much for listing out the type of exercises you can do. to shed the extra fat and stay lean even if you are at a disadvantage.

  3. Michael Faust  March 9, 2019


  4. Amy E  August 12, 2018

    Thanks for this! I have a pain condition that allows for a great deal of mobility but cannot walk for long distances or stand for long either so I use a wheelchair outside of my home. I can’t do a lot of these exercises because the condition makes even sitting and typing very difficult. But I’m happy to have this resource!

    Much gratitude,
    A non-paralyzed wheelchair user

  5. Kathleen  May 21, 2018

    I have Spina Bifida and at 63 years old I began to lose my strength and balance years ago and now use a wheelchair .. discovering your exercises has been helpful – although I do have an exercise program, I wanted some shorter routines that I can actually do before my dialysis .. your routines met that need perfectly. Thank you.

  6. Sherri  March 29, 2018

    I have limited lower body mobility and really bad balance. I appreciate these exercises.
    Seated exercise isn’t only for those who are paralyzed.

  7. Dawn Criighton  March 29, 2018

    Considering the title is “Exercises from your wheelchair” the exercises shown should not involve legs at all. What a let down. Chair exercises are for people who are paralysed and have no movement in their lower body.

    1. Jessica Solimando  March 29, 2018

      Hi Dawn,
      thank you for your feedback! We completely understand your view, however, there are many people who use wheelchairs who have a range of limitations. While some are completely paralyzed, others have limited lower body mobility – our goal is to provide options for wheelchair users with all ranges of abilities.
      You may like this page from which includes exercises for those with paralysis specifically. We hope that we could be of assistance to you!
      Kind regards,
      101 Mobility

  8. Sarah Parker  December 11, 2017

    .thanknyou to all the trainers because I am in a wheelchair and over weight and myself and xa friend do all.the excersises you do

  9. Cody Chambers  October 12, 2017

    I love how knowledge and fitness has allowed us as a society to develop so many diversified ways to workout! Everyone Deserves the opportunity to better themselves and this is a prime example! Great article, great concept!

  10. Carol  January 4, 2017

    Short and sweet! I am a double amputee, and i cant do some of the leaning from the edge of the seat, so I sit a little further back.

  11. e  November 20, 2016

    what about paralyzed people? those who are unable to use their legs? lifting legs while in seated position, that’s great. but for high majority of spinal cord injured people with injury levels from the thighs and above….IMPOSSIBLE.

    what a letdown.

    1. Jessica Solimando  November 22, 2016

      Hi Erika,

      we understand your frustration completely! A lot of the videos that we included require only arm and upper torso movement, so they are suitable for people who do not have use of their legs at all. However, some of the videos do include some minor leg movements from a seated position so that we could cater to those of all abilities.

  12. Carmel  October 20, 2016

    Love this. My friend trains people of ages and abilities however limited your movement may be. First session is free and he will tailor specifically to you. I often watch youtube videos but much prefer having someone to motivate /encourage and ensure I’m doing things the right way. Check him out…

  13. Sunnie Bell  August 2, 2016

    Very nice! I really like the information provided by you for those who need to exercise but are on Electric Wheelchairs. I have heard about Smart Scooters who are providing these wheelchairs at effective price.

  14. wheelchairindia  January 11, 2016

    Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep Posting:)

  15. Jed McCabe  January 10, 2016

    Well impressed with the clips. Look forward to the rest. Thanks.

    1. Brian Havens  January 11, 2016

      Glad you enjoyed the videos!

  16. Jody Daniels  January 7, 2016

    Hope these help. Im a 63 year old double below knees amputee confined to wheelchair until I get in shape and strong enough for prothesis.

    1. Brian Havens  January 7, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jody. We wish you all the best on your journey. Keep us updated!