In my previous post "Why are Rehab Gyms so Small" I stated that many rehab facilities are cramped, but most cannot expand their gyms. Among the tips listed to make the most of your space was consolidation. Specifically, can you get rid of two pieces of equipment (each does only 1 function), and replace them with 1 piece of equipment that does 2 functions. You can save space by combining functions into 1 piece of equipment.
While I was writing the last post I was also working on our newest product - the ADL Leg Press (patient pending). Initial feedback on the Press included comments about not having space. Though reviewed favorably, many therapists felt they did not have room for another piece of equipment. Other reviewers asked about the possibility of adding arms (to allow for push down motions). The combination of product feedback and blogging on small gyms, lead to a desire to see how many ways we could use the Press in rehab. Below is a list of 6 exercises you can perform on the Press. I'm not sure the Press will be able to replace 6 pieces of equipment, but it will sure make the space it does take up worth it.
1. Leg press. Patient is seated (in their wheelchair) with feet on platform. Patient pushes on platform, extending hips and knees. Movement uses same muscle groups required for sit-to-stands. Stronger legs lead to less help needed to stand.
2. Push downs. Patient is seated, facing away from the Press, with hands on removable arms. Patient pushes down, extending elbows and depressing shoulders. Movement uses same muscle groups as pushing on arm rests to stand. Stronger arms also lead to less help needed to stand.
3. Lat rows. Patient is seated, facing toward the Press, with hands on removable handles. Patient pulls back, flexing elbows, extending the shoulders, and squeezing the shoulder blades together. Movement uses same muscle groups required for pulling items closer to the body (scooting a gallon of milk) or moving the body (using an arm rail to roll or a car door to stand up).
4. Chest press. Patient is seated, facing away from the Press, with hands on removable handles. Patient pushes arms forward, extending elbows, and horizontally adducting the shoulders. Movement uses same muscle groups required for pushing items away from to the body (closing a door) or moving the body (pushing up on the bed or floor).
5. Calve raises. Patient is seated, facing the Press. Their feet are on the platform, heels hanging off the bottom, and knees extended. Patient pushes on platform by platarflexing the ankle. Movement uses same muscle groups as standing on tip toes. Stronger ankles lead to better ankle strategies and improve balance recovery.
6. Back extensions. Scooted forward in the wheelchair, the patient is seated, facing the Press, with removable straps positioned behind their upper back. Patient extends the hips and back, leaning their torso backward. Movement uses same muscle groups required for extending the trunk during sit-to-stands. Stronger back and hip muscles leads to improved standing ability and posture.
For more information about the ADL Leg Press please visit www.ADLbalance.com.