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stationary hand cycling, anyone?

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stationary hand cycling, anyone?

Old 07-21-15, 04:24 PM
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John E
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stationary hand cycling, anyone?

The local YMCA recently installed a stationary hand cycle, which I now try to use three times per week. What a workout for someone who has never had much in the way of upper body bulk, endurance, or strength!

I have been doing 5-minute sessions, starting at resistance level 13/30, and backing off to 12 and then to 11 as muscle fatigue sets in. I have been improving only very slowly, which has always been typical for me, but I do notice that this exercise is helping me with some of my upper body strength training.

Is anyone else complementing cycling -- and perhaps walking or running -- with hand cycling?

A bit of advice -- wear your padded cycling gloves to keep your hands from aching!
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Old 07-21-15, 05:09 PM
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That's the standard warm up (10 minutes) for anyone doing physical therapy after shoulder surgery.
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Old 07-21-15, 05:17 PM
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Cycling is an excellent exercise but it takes a good bit of time investment to achieve fitness results, I'd say at least 3-4hrs/week. My guess is hand cycling might be similar if your looking for cardio & strength. I'm sure shorter stints will achieve positive results, but you might want to consider adding weight bearing exercise into the mix too.
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Old 07-21-15, 05:39 PM
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This was part of my PT after a bout of rotator cuff tendinitis last year. It was probably my least favorite exercise, but its undoubtedly good, and helped me progress. For arm/upper body strength I much prefer a mixture of free weights and body weight exercise.
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Old 07-21-15, 06:54 PM
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I'd like to do this. I have a nerve injury to my leg and cycling irritates it. But my gym doesn't have one. Getting on the floor behind a regular or stationary bicycle to pedal with the hands isn't practical or comfortable. So I'm planning to buy a hand cycle unit, not too expensive, made for this purpose.

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Old 07-21-15, 07:15 PM
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That would give me even more respect for the hand cyclist that the Wounded Warrior Project has worked with. Watched some of the last Para-Olympics events with these athletes. Fantastic people with more drive than I can imagine.

Bill
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Old 07-22-15, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
That would give me even more respect for the hand cyclist that the Wounded Warrior Project has worked with. Watched some of the last Para-Olympics events with these athletes. Fantastic people with more drive than I can imagine.

Bill
That's what goes through my head every time I use it. I remember the Austrian handcyclist team that completed RAAM a few years ago. I have not tried a 0-degree, instead of a 180-degree, alignment of the pedals yet ... maybe tomorrow.
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Old 07-22-15, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
Cycling is an excellent exercise but it takes a good bit of time investment to achieve fitness results, I'd say at least 3-4hrs/week. My guess is hand cycling might be similar if your looking for cardio & strength. I'm sure shorter stints will achieve positive results, but you might want to consider adding weight bearing exercise into the mix too.
I do the hand cycling more for upper body endurance and conditioning than for cardio, since I have been doing a lot of fast walking, jogging, and cycling for many years. For the past two decades I have also been doing upper body strengthening exercises, as well as knee stabilization and Achilles rehab exercises, at the Y. I have recently added the 5 minutes of hand cycling to my existing 20-minute routine.
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Capo: 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
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Old 07-22-15, 11:12 AM
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hand cycles are necessary if your legs dont work .. met some pretty strong wheel chair athletes
that could make a hand cycle fly .. [ Burly tandem shop fabricated a hand cycle stoker setup in '90]
there the cranks are on same side of crank, not alternating , like bike's usual.

becomes a rowing like effort . pulling down and back.
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Old 08-01-15, 11:02 AM
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Handcycles are very popular in The Netherlands (and elsewhere in Europe). I'd bet that not a day goes by when I'm there that I don't see at least one. Some are dedicated handcycles while others are attachments for wheelchairs that let the person use their wheelchair at their destination. In The Netherlands they use the bikeways and can often maintain a pretty decent speed.

It's always fascinated me how many more people with disabilities you see in The Netherlands than elsewhere, particularly older folk. It's not that they have more (they actually have less than most developed countries) but that their bikeways make it much easier to get around with handcycles and mobility scooters so rather than remain cooped up in their senior housing apt they can get out and do stuff. This keeps people with disabilities healthier both physically and mentally.

More: Enabling Disabled People | Push Bikes

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