Woman with spinal cord injury doing adapted rowing on a river

Jenny, C6-7 spinal cord injury

Jenny is a 30-year survivor of a C6-7 spinal cord injury. One of the many ways she stays physically active is by rowing with the adapted rowing team of the Louisville Rowing Club in Louisville, Ky. In the video she is rowing in the Bayada Regatta, an adaptive rowing competition in Philadelphia, PA in 2019. She uses a fixed seat, a chest strap, gloves that assist with gripping the oars, and she rows with an able-bodied partner. Check out her helpful and inspiring blog at https://jennysmithrollson.com.

The adaptive rowing team meets on the water in Louisville from May through October. Indoor lessons are provided during the Winter. Contact program director Randy Mills at 502-419-0033 or randy.mills0033@yahoo.com. Participants of all abilities are welcome. Rowing is a sport for everyone.

Man with paraplegia lying on a mat using weights to exercise

Terrell, T10 spinal cord injury

Terrell suffered a thoracic spinal cord injury, leaving him paraplegic. He uses a wheelchair, but is able to get out of the chair to exercise at the Community Fitness and Wellness gym at Frazier Rehab Institute. There are several sophisticated pieces of equipment at the gym, but he also uses the hi/lo mat to approximate a bent-over row exercise to strengthen his back. He enjoys the challenge of an obstacle course, which exercises and strengthens his whole body: hips, core, back, arms, and shoulders.

Woman stroke survivor exercising in gym with assistance from a trainer

Kathy, stroke

Kathy is a 20-year stroke survivor. She had a malformed blood vessel in her brain since birth. It burst in 2000, when Kathy was in her fifties. Kathy knows how important it is to try to make exercise a regular part of her life. She works on both strength and cardiovascular training. Working on leg and core strength helps with balance while walking. Maintaining or improving upper body strength helps with activities of daily living. Kathy uses the Nustep for cardiovascular exercise, like Raymond who is featured in an earlier post.

Man with spinal cord injury standing in parallel bars at a gym

Tom, C4 incomplete SCI

Tom has a C4 incomplete spinal cord injury. When he first began exercising he had a hard time standing on his own.

After approximately a year of exercising in the Community Fitness and Wellness program at Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, Ky, he was able to stand without assistance. Note, in the video below, that he is standing against resistance–there are elastic bands around his shoulders and connected to dumb bells.

A stroke survivor doing upper extremity exercise on a functional electrical stimulation cycling machine

Raymond, stroke

Raymond had a stroke in 2015. He uses functional electrical stimulation on his affected arm and leg to do upper-extremity and lower-extremity cycling. The stimulation activates the muscles to contract in the proper sequence for cycling. Also, with adaptive tools, such as a glove and a leg stabilizer, he gets cardiovascular exercise on a nustep recumbent stepper

Woman with spinal cord injury lifting dumbbells while on bench with wheelchair next to her

Liz, T7 spinal cord injury

Liz is a T7 paraplegic. She suffered a spinal cord stroke in 2006. Once she was discharged from outpatient therapy, she realized that she needed to commit to engaging in therapeutic exercise in order to maintain what she gained in outpatient therapy, and to ward off risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.