Exercise machines

I have been confined to a wheelchair for the last few years, or get around the house, very slowly, using a walker so exercising the legs is not an option. There are many adverts in the press for exercise machines that you use whilst sitting down and they move the lower legs back and forth for you.

Has anyone any experience of using these and do they help?


11 Replies

  • Dear Bob,

    I was given a leg exerciser to try (one like a triangle base with pedals to push) and it is not the same as cycling for example. I found it hard work and difficult to use sitting on a sofa for one. (These companies want to sell their products.) I would have a word with your health professional or physiotherapist as to what would work for you and give you the best results. Happy hunting.

  • Hi Bob,

    I have an ataxia-suffering friend who swears by his recumbent exercise bike. Because it is recumbent, he has absolutely no balance problems when using it.

    I saw him before, and after, using the bike - and it had obviously helped him a *lot*. He was much fitter, both physically and mentally.


  • Dear Bob, If you Google (on your computer, laptop or I-Pad) "exercises for legs while sitting in a wheelchair" you'll find several links. My best to you..., ;o)

  • Also, I have no experience with machines to use while sitting down..., ;o)

  • Yes, I've seen them as well, my physio says they're for people trying to lose weight although I reckon any regular repeated movement for the legs has to be good. So I've re-started doing regular stretching with a thera band (a sort of giant elastic band, you can get them off ebay for a few £)

  • Hi Bob😊 If your ataxia causes vertigo, pay particular attention when you try things out. The sensation brought on by positioning yourself on various equipment may be off putting.

    It would be useful to be referred to a Neurophysiotherapist, you would be advised on choosing equipment for your specific needs. This is FOC and could potentially save you money 😉 xB

  • I am not thinking of buying one, I just wondered if anyone had experience of using one. ~ Bob

  • Sincere apologies Bob 😊 Neurophysios can recommend therapy using equipment specific to your needs. We all experience similar symptoms but not everyone benefits from the same 'exercise' 🤔 xB

  • Hi bob , I'm a former gym instructor and personal trainer who has cerebrallar ataxia I am now in a wheelchair but I still use the machine weights. I think you are talking about the leg press, leg extension and leg curl or hamstring curl. I would advise joining a local gym with wheelchair access and using that - it's what I've done

  • Hi I have a bike bought it from argos and it is really good. I use it when I feel lazy to go gym. It cost less than £40. Plus argos has the advantage you buy and try and if you don't like. Return it and get your money back.

  • I used to go to a physiotherapist that had had a anti gravity treadmill it was amazing

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