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Strengthening opposing muscle groups ...

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    Strengthening opposing muscle groups ...

    ... to avoid overuse injuries.

    I have never done this [consciously] in my life. Now I've begun always looking for whacky ways to do things using different muscles than the ones I've always used. I've been injuring my right shoulder every six to twelve months for a few years now. A PT recently emphasized to me about strengthening all the other muscles.

    So tonight riding my handcycle I was using lots of different techniques. Holding my elbows stiff and using all shoulders was one. Bending the elbows and pulling hard from 9:00 to 3:00 but coasting from 3:00 to 9:00. This worked my chest and also my biceps which rarely see any action. Then just changing my hand grip can emphasize different muscles.

    I've semi-consciously been doing this while transferring for a long time. Always trying to use different muscles than the ones that constantly get overused.

    Man, I hope it works. Plus I need to start lifting weights to strengthen opposing muscle groups for real. Word from the PT is that it's the only way to get a few decades more out of my arms and shoulders.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
    ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

    Able bodied athletes do it every day, it's even more important for SCIs...

    [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    Eric Harness,CSCS
    Project Walk®

    Eric Harness, CSCS
    Neuro Ex, Inc
    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery


      hand cycling, though very useful is really very limited in its muscle groups and does nothing to strategically strengthen the key muscle groups needed to survive long term. these key groups include the deep core rotator cuff muscles, deep shoulder stabilizers and trunk/scapular (shoulder blade) stabilizers.

      the exercises must be specific in its direction; hand cycling is repetitious in limited directions.

      i've been used resistance tubing/bands for years. it comes in strengths greater than you will ever need. the key is to learn how to position your chair in order to get correct muscle group.

      this site is great for muscle function and set up direction:

      i get my gear from these sites:

      if you need hooks for doing pulling excercises these are available too:



        I have started to get shoulder/rotator problems myself. There are some good exercises you can do with very small weights to strengthen the rotator. Ask your PT if you haven't tried them yet. The exercises (form) are too precise to try and describe here.



          Steve G, I have a referral for PT but never seem to have time for the appointment. My plan is to get on this before the end of September.

          I've heard from three quads who have torn their rotator cuff. It's common. And also amazing how it doesn't seem to bother them so much. One guy said he if he had surgery he couldn't use his arm for heavy lifting anymore. He's not getting the surgery.

          I found lots of sites that describe exercise to strengthen the rotator cuff. I just need to start, I think.

          Four Exercises to Strengthen the Muscles of Your Rotator Cuff

          ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
          ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


            crags - Great links! I'm glad I came back to this topic. Thanks.

            ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~
            ~See you at the CareCure-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~


              those four exercises are good, but can be hard to get into the correct body position. using cables from you can do all them in a mechanically better position of sitting, with no obstruction of range of motion due to lying on a table.

              more importantly, it is KEY to strengthen the deep scapular muscles that fix your shoulder blade in place as you use the shoulder. overworking the shoulder while ignoring the scapulars will result in more instability. these include the lats, subscapularis, rhomboids.