Since your spinal cord injury, you have learned how to use your shoulders in ways your never thought possible. I cannot over express how important it is for you to keep your shoulders strong and healthy, as they are used to propel your wheelchair, transfer and complete other activities of daily living. Unfortunately, the shoulder joint is not designed for heavy use, such as the knee or hip joint. Therefore, because your shoulder joint is probably the joint you are now using the most, you must exercise it to keep it as strong and healthy as possible. There is no better exercise to help you to keep your shoulders healthy than the Shoulder Abduction Exercise.

Shoulder Abduction Exercise in a Wheelchair

Muscles Worked: Deltoids, Rotator Cuff.

Equipment: Wrap around arm weights.

Starting Position: Sit straight up in your wheelchair, making sure that you back is firmly pushed against the back of your chair. If necessary, have someone hold your shoulders back for you.

Action: Slowly raise your arm to your side while keeping it as straight as possible. Do not lift your forearm or hand higher than your shoulders.

Slowly lower the arm weight back to the starting position. The movement down is where you will put the most stress on your deltoid muscles to help them grow.



1.     Maintain a regular breathing pattern during this exercise. Do not hold your breath.

2.     Try your best not to lean to one side.

3.     Try doing both arms at the same time if possible.

Thanks to for the picture.