Fit in a wheelchair not only means working with others to improve your own endurance, strength or mobility through inclusive training. No, there is much more to it.
Article written in cooperation with Dirk Lösel from fitimrollstuhl.de
Wheelchair Fitness – Why?
If "sitting is the new smoking," then what is it for a wheelchair user? A challenge for sure, but one to be faced. Because not only the sitting position itself, with limited mobility in the hip and pelvic region, but also the reduced mobility of the diaphragm and the resulting reduced ventilation of the lungs can lead to permanent problems.
Therefore, issues such as good positioning in the chair, breathing exercises in and out of the wheelchair, and a daily mobility routine are important to counteract these limitations. This training concept is supplemented by targeted exercises, especially for the heavily used shoulder muscles, whereby you have to find a good mix of mobility and strengthening exercises. Building blocks such as nutrition and regeneration belong in every balanced exercise and training program and in many cases even form the basis for being able to train effectively.
The sleep factor is also of great importance for the diverse regeneration processes of our body, which can make a big difference with little expense.
Sport for wheelchair users - more than just exercise
Even experienced athletes in top-class sports do not always find it easy to motivate themselves or to implement even seemingly simple things in a sustainable manner. Sustainability has a lot to do with fun and success. So, it is important for each individual to find a suitable package of exercises, regeneration and nutrition strategies that will help them with their limitations, but should also be appealing enough to fit into a daily routine.
"This task makes working with athletes and motivated wheelchair users so exciting and challenging that I like to face it every day and am always happy to develop myself further." - Dirk Lösel
Fit in a wheelchair – the platform
Fit in a wheelchair is our platform for active wheelchair users, their trainers and therapists. It should inform, stimulate, connect and, above all, help to lead an active and lively lifestyle.
Who is behind the concept?
Dirk Lösel, born in 1964, is a consultant, physiotherapist from Wettenberg. Lösel is a true expert with more than 25 years of professional experience in the fields of physiotherapy, performance diagnostics and athletic training. From 1996 to 2016 he was the head physiotherapist for the Gießen 46ers Bundesliga basketball team, and since 2015 he has been the athletic trainer for Team Germany's men's wheelchair basketball team and for top athletes in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Together with Thomas Böhme, national wheelchair basketball player, Lösel founded the “Fit in a wheelchair” platform at the beginning of 2022. Here, the two wheelchair users motivate those who want to take their fitness and athleticism to the next level. With a concept consisting of three main pillars, Lösel and Böhme are trying to support wheelchair users in being active and doing sports.
Three pillars of “Fit in a Wheelchair”
1. Training and education
The first pillar consists of a specific day for training and further education, on which both wheelchair users and drivers are addressed. The environment of trainers and therapists should also be brought on board here, in order to improve the offer for people in wheelchairs holistically and together with all those involved.
2. Online Platform
The second component is an online platform with which live events on topics such as fitness, yoga, nutrition and regeneration can be planned and held. In addition, the online platform can also be used as a database for training exercises and suggestions, enabling location-independent exchange and making information and inspiration easily accessible to all.
In the third step, your offer can also be booked as an in-house event by organisations, associations, companies and clubs. This means that, beyond the digital exchange, one can continue to educate oneself, be informed and enlightened in the real world - in events to touch, try out and get to know each other.
Are you interested?
On June 11, 2022, the first training and further education day for wheelchair users, trainers and therapists will take place in Giessen. The combination of training and further education on the subject of "fitness in a wheelchair" offers people in wheelchairs the opportunity to train effectively and purposefully with their own body weight or small materials such as FLEXVIT bands.
The exercise selection and load are adapted to the individual possibilities of the participants. At the same time, the further training is aimed at their environment of trainers and physiotherapists in order to present them with a training concept in theory and practice with which they can support their wheelchair athletes and patients in sports and everyday life.
Information and registration at: www.fitimrollstuhl.de