Spinal Cord Injury Fitness

The Invictus Active Trainer was conceived by two full-time wheelchair users Paul Cooksey and Scott Smith, both active sportsmen who sought to improve their fitness levels. The equipment was designed so that it catered to the varied needs of manual wheelchair users, new and professional athletes alike. It re-creates the tension and resistance that users experience on roads in a controlled environment, allowing users to target specific areas, including their arms, shoulders and core muscles, during their training.

To operate the machine, users need to roll their chair backwards up the ramp until it reaches the two rollers. They will then need to strap the frame to the machine before propelling the stationary wheelchair in a forward motion. To maximize the workout routine, it is recommended that users try to maintain a constant speed throughout. When starting out on the machine, they should try to keep their pace at 3mph for at least 5mins. Users will very soon find themselves breaking into sweat as the resistance gets built up in the rollers.

Watch this video to see how it’s ideal for spinal cord injury fitness …

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1) Invictus Active Trainer - from £799

This ‘wheelchair trainer’ is ideal for all manual wheelchair users – you simple wheel up onto the trainer in your every day chair and start pushing. It’s designed to simulate pushing on the road and enables you to build up strength in the arm muscles, improve your core stability and gives and overall cardio workout.

You can take it as easy or as intense as you require – if you are working on core stability and pushing technique then you can push at a steady pace and control core muscles that you may. If you don’t have stomach muscles then you can still work on balence and work other groups that you use on a daily basis to improve balence, often it is about technique – stationary on the trainer allows you to work on this.

If you are looking to get fit – then the trainer will certainly help you achieve this! – you can push fast and intense and doing this for a short period of 5 minutes to start with will get the heart rate going. it also connects to your phone or tablet via an app and records speed, distance and heart rate.

Watch this video to see how this paraplegic fitness equipment works…

2) YouBike - from £1395

Unlike the Invictus Trainer, the YouBike targets both the upper and lower body at the same time. It was originally designed for spinal injury patients fitness and is the only one out of the three machines that could be used in both sitting and lying down positions. This also means that people who suffer from a wider range of disabilities can use this machine from active elderly individuals to bedridden stroke patients.

The machine requires users to move both their hands and legs in a cyclical manner and could be easily adjusted to provide simple to intense workouts. Doing so not only stretches the limbs and improve hand-leg coordination, but also builds up cardiovascular fitness. It is suitable for incorporating into regular physical therapy or for professional physiotherapy rehabilitation programs.

Fitness bike Paraplegic
Use the YouBike from your wheelchair.

3) Berkel Bike - from £6995

The most expensive of the three machines, Berkel Bike is understandably so because it employs the sophisticated Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) system to help those who suffer from total leg paralysis to experience a new way of working out – as spinal cord injury you can power the bike using your legs! Electric pulses are transmitted to the nerves to bring about contraction of muscles that in turn is going to spur the pedaling motion.

Like any arm and leg exercise bike, Berkel Bike requires the upper and lower limb to work together to power the machine forward. Its design also allows those with physical mobility to utilize it both indoors and outdoors, and experience freewheeling down open roads while reaping the benefits of working out, including improved blood circulation, prevention of muscle wastage and loss of weight.

Paraplegic fitness legs and arms Berkel Bike
Fitness equipment for Paraplegic.

You can improve fitness as spinal cord injury with the best trainer and exercise bikes above!