Yesterday my friend Chris and I were asked to come educate the trainers on adaptive workouts at Upstate Nevada. Upstate Nevada a new local gym and the first nonprofit facility for community fitness in Reno. They are motivated by the philosophy that “nobody should be denied a healthy lifestyle due to physical, cognitive or financial impairments.” While they have highly educated trainers and physical therapists, they wanted to learn some new tips on ways they can grow their knowledge in working with individuals in wheelchairs.
As I have mentioned, I have been working with both quadriplegics and paraplegics for the last six years. The knowledge I have gained has not been through my education or certifications but rather the experience I have learned first hand and experiencing my client’s specific circumstances. I have had to be creative and go through many trials and errors to build workout routines as every spinal cord injury is unique. It has taken time, patience, and understanding each injury to accrue programs such as that mentioned in my blog, “What I Have to Offer.” It was an honor to be able to be invited to share our knowledge and continue on the path to help others.
The trainers at Upstate asked us to focus on core strengthening as that has been their greatest obstacle in their training regimen. Core strength for anyone in a chair is one of the greatest assets in becoming more independent. It allows for increased mobility and strength especially when it comes to transfers, reaching, posture, general mobility, overall stamina and pain relief. Chris and I were able to demonstrate some of the exercises that we do with different progressions for different stages of physical fitness as well as be able to educate as to why each exercise was important. The exercises that we do have purpose and focus on assisting in every day life. Unless you are in a chair, you could never understand the importance of certain movements. Between Chris and I, I think we make a pretty great team.
Here is a short clip that of Chris demonstrating one of our exercises called a Hero squat. It may not seem like a difficult movement for us able bodies, but is one that activates the entire body and strengths both the glutes and the core. It was rewarding to watch these trainers taking notes and asking so many questions. It definitely reminded me that not only am I passionate of what I do, but I am not too bad it. I am so grateful to have been able to be apart of this, thanks Upstate Nevada! e