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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Hi all,
I am happy to come across this forum. I'm hoping to find a few people interested in helping me by giving me ideas. I'm 36. At 15 I had a diving accident that broke my neck. At first I was completely paralyzed.

I use a power chair. Years flew by so fast. Slowly I started moving. With help I can stand and with a walker and determination I can walk, not far but every step is worth it. I sit in a wheelchair because I'm disabled, but I can move my legs and arms. I can make all of my muscles including core work, it's all there for me to use, but it's very difficult. But that's ok.

When my wife helps me walk she walks behind me just in case and I walk for about 15 minutes. A few months ago I was able to try an amazing walker that helps me stand safely without assistance, and I just got one and have had it for exactly one week. With it I will be able to stand longer and practice / exercise many things while standing. To start I aim to try standing for an hour a day, just being out of my chair and on my feet more will have amazing benefits. So far my legs can only do 30 minutes a day but it's coming.

But as amazing as it's going to be I know I can achieve more than just standing, we learn to crawl before we walk. I have a friend that as started helping me get in the pool and plans to help me workout with different routines. I know there will be simple things that I need to do, and difficult things that I will need to do, and if I hang in there I can be much better than I already am. How much better, I'm not sure. Whether 2x better or 85 x better it will be worth it. I know that it is on the higher end.

Right now I'm trying to get more familiar with the muscles and exactly which one does what when I move it and strengthen it, I think this will help me to see the big picture clearer and I think this site will be a big help to me.

But I'm looking for anyone interested in being a part of this mountain climb in my life. Just sharing your workout wisdom, motivation, tips, ideas that you think I should try, anything is what I'm seeking. My friend and I plan to document as best we can so I can post videos and images for feedback. I thank you for listening and hope you are interested in the challenge.

Sincerely,
Ian


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Ian, welcome to the site. I look forward to hearing about your journey and I hope I can help a little along the way. You may want to start a page in the journal section.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:25 pm 
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thank you Stuward, I will try to start a journal. I greatly appreciate your help


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:00 am 
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Yes, welcome. I think we'd all enjoy being part of your journey.

First of all, we may be full of ideas, but without seeing you in person, it's hard for us to picture how things are for you. Also, keep in mind that none of us are PTs or any other kind of therapist, so our advice is only amateur suggestion. So you have to take free advice for what it's worth! If a suggestion seems good to you, try it, judge it for yourself.

The pool is a great idea. It is used by therapists and by rehab hospitals. You can do a variety of useful activities in the pool, including just swim. You can walk in the water. Start with the water deep enough for you to feel significant support. Then over the weeks, gradually move to shallower and shallower water. You could even use a walker in the pool.

Another idea is to do squats in the water. Not barbell squats, just body weight squats (at least for now). Read up on what is good squat technique (I won't get into it now, but happy to discuss further if you like) then do them in water that is just deep enough to leave your face above water when your thighs are parallel or slightly deeper. When you can do a reasonable number of reps, either move to shallower water, or change the squat to a "goblet squat". Again, there's lots of information on this on line, so I won't go into it now.

The best training for walking is walking. The idea of gradually increasing seems like a good one to me. You might just add a second session. If you can walk for 30 minutes now, change to 20 in the morning and 20 in the evening, and slowly increase.

You could potentially use leg extension or let curl machines, but keep in mind that this will help isolated muscles to get stronger, but won't train all the muscles to work together as they do in real life.

Is it possible for you to see a PT once in a while? That might be of help in identifying limited range of motion, and finding corrective exercises.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Thank you jungledoc. Thank you so much for your interest in sharing in this. I will be trying to get a plan together instead of just winging it:) Winging it is ok sometimes but I think a plan will be beneficial. Right now I mainly do simple exercise for my legs just to keep them going and I use a exercise band with my arms. And I try to strengthen my abs and back, my core needs much work.

I work 8:30-4:30 everyday so with that and other things I don't get to walk everyday, I am able to exercise my legs during work and want to figure out some other effective exercises. With the new walker and creating a solid routine I see a great possibility of walking becoming easier so even when I'm worn out it will be something that will be easier than it is now and will become a regular part of my life. I have unbelievable potential that I can't just settle for the norm, I need to go for it.

The cool thing about the new walker is I sit on a bicycle seat and it has a piston that helps me stand, the piston can be set to 100,80 or 60 pounds of assistance, right now it's on 60. And when I get stronger it can be switched out with a smaller amount of help. But it lets me safely do squats. So far my limit has been 35 squats.

After sitting in a wheelchair so long that when you stand your body feels like it should lean back because that's what it does in the wheelchair. So as I stand more I need to break this habit and get comfortable how I'm actually supposed to stand. When I lean back the walker isn't easy for me to use so I'm working on getting it under control.

Squats and just standing and leaning forward and practicing shifting my weight from leg to leg has been great. After my legs get tired they give out and I go down. But the piston system has a lever that locks so I can stay more secure when my legs are tired. Yesterday my friend locked it and said he just wanted me to get the feel of the walker without his assistance, then he said he wanted me to walk from a to b, just a few steps. My body was leaning back, not good for walking, but it worked, being left to myself I figured out that I needed to move my upper body forward over my feet and then I was able to take the steps. And then I did it again.

So I know it will be hard work but I can and will do much more. As far as therapists, I'm not sure at this time. I've had a good one for an hour here and there but I've had some that aren't interested in hands on work. The last one that I had was a waste of money and time.

This new walker is great and if all I could do was stand it would be so worth it. But I can do more. I need to push hard for the standing and walking but I think I need to push even harder for the basics, arms that can do a lot more for me than hold me up while I walk, legs that can be used to stand and sit and do whatever else legs do. A core that works apart from being in a wheelchair, being able simply to sit up from a lying position. Basics yet solid foundational things that the benefits will be more precious than gold to my life.

I will try to start the journal and add pictures so you have a better idea. Thank you so much!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:32 pm 
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OK. Keep us informed.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:52 am 
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doc I started a journal


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:15 am 
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To get the big picture take a look at the muscle side of this.
http://exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

I found learning how everything works together to be helpful also. You can also look at this:
http://exrx.net/Articulations/Hip.html

While you can't do the exercises shown, you can try moving your legs in each of those ways. You can advance by using the water in the pool for resistance, and maybe ankle weights when not in the pool.

Repetition is probably the most important thing. Atrophied muscles should grow with use, the nervous system also learns by repetition.

For the abdominal area I think standing up, sitting down, standing still, and walking are going to be the best things for strengthening and learning to balance.

That's really all that comes to mind. I think you are already doing the most important things though, standing and walking. You just need to keep doing that as much as you possibly can. Swimming should help quite a bit as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Thank you ironman. My friend is going to be gone quite a bit this summer so I don't think I'll get to workout in the pool much but that's ok, there's lots I can do a part from the pool. Thank you for the links, the lists are most valuable to my understanding and progress. I thought I would do all of them but that might take a week:) I keep trying to get a solid plan together but not getting it yet. Right now like you said I'm trying to keep the standing at the top of my consistency list.

I got a weight lifting for dummies book from the library and I think I might focus on the order that it does, first being the back. I'm thinking a working / strengthened back is important to most other reachable goals. I'm trying to figure out something to focus on and the back seems good.

Exercise bands vs dumbells? Any benefits of 1 vs the other? For all exercises, not just back. I read that dumbbell exercised mucles need 48 hours rest, is it the same for exercisebands?

What would be the best / most effective kind of plan for me? And do I just put it on paper then execute it?

My legs / feet get tired after 30 minutes of standing, but it's only week 1. But my thought was anyone would get tired of just standing, so I will try to not just stand but take steps. But just getting comfortable standing should be important too right?

Squats strengthens the leg muscles that can help me sit to stand right?

Thank you so much guys!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:35 am 
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abacoian wrote:
...
Exercise bands vs dumbells? Any benefits of 1 vs the other? For all exercises, not just back. I read that dumbbell exercised mucles need 48 hours rest, is it the same for exercisebands?
...


I'm on my way out to go to work but I wanted to address this. 2 days rest is normal for beginners that are training normally. If you train intensely, you may need more time, easy workouts need less. It's a function of how hard you worked and is not related to the tools you used.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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Thanks TimD


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:11 pm 
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A back extension machine would probably help. Then of course there are all the usual upper body exercises. Machines are easier if you have access to them. If you have help dumbbells and bands could also work. You could probably even do dips in your walker. It might be harder to hold your legs up than to do the dips though.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:24 pm 
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I read about the upperback muscles and did a exercise where I pull the exercise band back to my side. I also have a pull up bar that I can use from my chair so yesterday I focused on a light upper back workout. With the pullups, is there any difference if my palms are facing me or facing forward? And for my upperback, are pullups the best exercise I can do to make progress or what other exercises would you reccomend? It seems when I do pullups it makes my range/reach shorter/limited. But if pullups will strengthen my back I want to do it consistantly. Interesting a friend said yesterday I was sitting up straighter but I doubt they work that fast.

I was looking at lowr back muscles and it reccomended doing bridges. I could do those in bed but my legs fall side to side. What leg muscles / exercise would I need to hold my legs in that position? Sitting in my chair, leaning my body forward against the front of my legs then sitting back, would that work / improve my lower back?

Still trying to get a solid effective plan, block by block. One of my obstacles is figuring out how to do exercrcises from my chair since the instructions are for able bodied people. My tools right now are: pullup bar, exercise bands, and a couple free weights. I can sit on the edge of the bed, and stand pretty securely with the up n free walker.

The book I'm reading moves from back to chest, would that be most beneficial or would it be more beneficial to learn/work abs?

Thank you all so much for your help.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Bridges primarily work the Glutes but the lower back is worked isometrically.

The grip on pullups affect the recruitment of the biceps in the movement. Plms towards you make it more advantagous for the biceps, hands away from you mean your back has to take more of the load.

Abs tend to get worked along with glutes. They work together to tilt the pelvis back. if you could incorporate some sort of plank, that would hit both.

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Stu Ward
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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about - Charles Staley
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Thanks TimD


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Hello, maybe this could help. My grandmother fell and broke her leg. She was in bed for 6-7 months and all her muscles have atrophied. She couldn't walk or do anything. Than one doctor brought a machine that gave her electroshocks in her legs, and because of that electricity, her muscles twitched and they became stronger and after one month she could walk totally normally.
You are in similar position, you use your legs for very short time and your muscles are very weak. If you strengthen them this way, maybe it will become easier for you.
But from neural perspective, I can't help you.
Maybe, you should first try to find something like this, that will help you become stronger, and than use some exercises.
You could, perhaps, try to walk on your knees first. If you find something soft to put down there. That way you would first strengthen your upper legs and after that you could do your lower legs. That should be easier than strengthening both parts of the legs at one time, if you can make it comfortable enough.
Hope this helps.

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Don’t run if you can walk, don’t walk if you can stand, don’t stand if you can sit,
and if you sat, might as well lie down and take a nap.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Stefan, go back and re-read his original post. What's the point of "walking" on his knees, or of using myostimulation when he can already move his legs, and even walk a bit with his walker? He's on the right track to improve his exercising.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan


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