Easy and Fun Exercises for Seniors in Wheelchairs

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Fun Exercises for Seniors in Wheelchairs in Palm Desert, CA

If your senior loved one uses a wheelchair, he or she may feel limited in his or her ability to exercise. Palm Desert Home Care Assistance encourages seniors to maintain a healthy and happy life with the following wheelchair-friendly exercises. These workouts can help increase strength and range of motion and may also decrease pain and discomfort.

Ball Exercises

Have your senior loved one place a ball (about the size of a soccer ball) between his or her arms and straighten them outward for several seconds. Doing this exercise ten times in a row will help seniors develop upper body strength. People in wheelchairs can also do this exercise using small weights in each hand.

Lower Leg Exercises

By straightening the legs and pointing toes outward for several seconds, your loved one can strengthen the shin and thigh muscles. Also, using the toes to lift heels off the ground will help strengthen calf muscles.

Finger Exercises

While straightening the back and contracting stomach muscles, have your loved one place his or her hands on an invisible “wall” and walk the fingers up this wall as high as he or she can go. Have your family member hold this position for ten seconds before walking back down the wall. This exercise helps develop grip strength and range of motion.


Stretching the neck by rotating the head clockwise and then counterclockwise will help alleviate tension and aches. Seniors can accomplish the same thing by rotating their shoulders in the same motion.

Air Punches

When doing this exercise, it’s important for seniors to keep a straight back and press it firmly to the back of the wheelchair. Have him or her place his or her arms at 90 degrees and raise the elbows to the sides and alternate thrusting fists across the body. In time, your loved one can increase the rate at which he or she does this. This is a good cardiovascular exercise and can reduce stress.


Start your loved one off by using a small weight in each hand. Next, have him or her sit up straight and tighten his or her abdominal muscles. Have your loved one raise the weight in the right hand above the corresponding shoulder, and then across the body to the left hip. Repeat with the left arm as well. This exercise will increase strength in the core and arm muscles.

Exercise is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and this is especially true for seniors. If your elderly loved one is wheelchair bound, you may be concerned he or she isn’t getting proper exercise. With the right support and encouragement from Home Care Assistance, your loved one will have an easier time meeting his or her nutritional and fitness needs. All of our care services, including live-in and part-time care in Palm Desert, utilize the Balanced Care Method, which promotes wellbeing and overall life quality through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a sense of purpose. Call a friendly Care Manager today at 760.345.0001 to learn more.


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