PUNCHING BAG: Therapeutic Core Exercise for Wheelchair Users

I find myself searching for different conditioning exercises as the “MS 150 Miami” approaches on April 21-22. The “MS 150” is a 150 mile bike ride put on by the National MS Society to raise awareness and funding for a cure to Multiple Sklerosis. It’s a 150 mile bike ride split between 2 days. The 1st day is 75 miles from Miami to Key Largo, and the 2nd day is a 75 mile ride back to Miami from Key Largo.

Santa brought me a punching bag for Christmas this past December. Throughout the past couple months I’ve realized it’s a great therapeutic exercise tool for anyone confined to a manual wheelchair. There are multiple reasons I’d suggest a punching bag to anyone disabled in a wheelchair.

1) Physical Workout: While punching the bag your arm and shoulder muscles will receive a workout. More importantly, your trunk/core muscles will receive a fantastic workout as well.

2) Cardiovascular Workout: If in a wheelchair, you understand the limited options when it comes to an effective cardiovascular workout. Setup a punching bag stand, and you’ll have a solid cardiovascular workout whenever you choose.

3) Stress/Anger Relief: Sometimes meditation and breathing exercises won’t cut it, and we want to simply punch something. No exercises, no timed rounds… Just 1 round. A beat down session between you and a faceless punching bag. Or, should you choose, give the bag a face and go to town.

Wheelchair Positioning: Stabilizing the wheelchair is key. I suggest backing up against a wall so the rear wheels are touching. The punching bag should be hung directly in front of you, adjusting for arm length. This way, there’s no rolling backward when punches are thrown. My wheelchair doesn’t have brakes, and I’m fine with backing up against a wall. Also, if you have the option, I suggest purchasing a punching bag stand as well, instead of hanging from a rafter. This will allow you to make adjustments and/or move location.

Example Exercise: Try a 6 round/set workout. 3 minutes each round/set. Resting 1 minute between each round. 1st round throw a variety of punches at 50% strength. For rounds 2-6 throw at 100% strength, adding a punch (jab, cross, hook, uppercut, body shot) each round. This exercise should absolutely empty your gas tank, while strengthening your arms and core, providing a great physical therapy session.

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  • arno
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    Hope to see a video soon on that

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