Thursday, September 16, 2021

Trekking Poles for use with Wheelchairs?

I was initially very skeptical about using poles with wheelchairs.

Why?  Because we teach people to use big pushing muscles – muscles in the back that support and elongate the spine.  My concern was that the more fragile pulling muscles (like the anterior deltoid) might be used and therefore strained.   Also, I thought some control of the chair might be compromised.

But Guess What?  At the No Barriers Summit, I spoke with Liesl, the paraplegic pictured below, who said she loved them.  Why?  Because they’re great for cross training.

So like orthotics, or using poles or learning any new skill – weave it in gradually.  Please don’t over do it.  and…enjoy your poles!

Notice that Liesl’s straps are snug?  This helps prevent hand strain, improves her power and allows her to use arm and back muscles for movement.    Notice that her arms are relatively straight and close to her body?  This helps recruit larger muscles in the back.    Her good form is part of why she enjoyed this pole session!

Photos are compliments of Melanie at LEKI.  As always, click on any photo to enlarge.  Press the back button to return to post.

Using poles to push forward

Using lats for pulling

Practice turning

And, lest you even THINK of feeling sorry for Liesl, be advised that she is an airplane mechanic in Alaska.

Poles pictured are LEKI Corklite Aergon SpeedLock.


One Response to “Trekking Poles for use with Wheelchairs?”
  1. Patricia Weston says:

    Check this out! Submitted by a 64 year old “wheelchair trekker”!

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