Vitaglide vs Uppertone

Both the Uppertone and the Vitaglide are well designed fitness machines for wheelchair users. So how do you know which to choose for you?
 I think it depends on the type of workout you want and the fitness goal. Both will build muscle and thus help lose weight but they do it differently.

VitaGlide Wheelchair Fitness Machine

Vitaglide is aerobic in nature. The intent is long durations at a sustainable pace/resistance. Aerobic is all about oxygen. The key is to keep your heart rate up with increases how much oxygen can deliver to muscles. The one thing that sets the Vitaglide apart from other aerobic machines  is the twisting motion incorporates more of the lower delts and back muscle and passively works the core, which is great for busting the “quad gut.”

The uppertone is all about weight training during which you focus on “overload” which is essentially doing more than sustainable. You want to generate a baseline of what weight and repetitions you can normally do and then you structure your workout to be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but with good form. Also you need resting periods to allow for muscle growth, unlike aerobic where you do same duration (30 mins or more depending on ability) each day.

Uppertone Fitness Machine

There’s the debate over which is better, aerobic or weight training, but ideally if you can do both that is best. Aerobic promotes strong, well fueled muscles and most important cardiovascular health but weight training usually burns fat faster because it takes more calories to sustain muscle more so than fat.

Both machines are well made and will give you as good of a workout as you put in, so it just depends on your goals and how you prefer to work out. To see more about these machines and other available exercise equipment for us wheelchair user visit our Exercise Equipment.

Tell us what you think…What wheelchair fitness machine do you prefer?


Grade Aids

I’ve taken great pride in being a C6 quadriplegic who is able to use a manual chair as my primary chair. There are many reasons why I have preferred using a manual chair. For me, it is much easier to get around places locally. Most of which only meet the minimun requirements for “accessibility.”  I’ve also always felt it easier to relate to people I meet, in the manual chair, more so than a power chair.

It hasn’t always been the easier option. One aspect of using a manual chair that can be quite difficult for us “quads” is hills. Most ramps are shallow enough, but it seems inevitable that I’ll be out with friends checking out a new place, or on that first date to the movies, and I’ll have to roll up a hill that’s too steep. For me, Grade Aids have been invaluable.

I originally bought a pair of grade aids because I had a converted mini-van with a slide out ramp, and I needed to be able to drive myself. Driving was easy enough, and so was the transfer from my chair to the driver seat. I just didn’t have enough strength to get all the way up the ramp without rolling back. So it was suggested that I get grade aids.

Grade AidsGrade aids are a simple device that when “engaged” (fancy way of saying you flip tab down) it allows the wheel to roll forward but will stop it from rolling backward. The simple device can be attached by itself or with push to lock wheel locks to almost any wheelchair frame. To engage the grade aids you simple push down on the tab so that the teeth on the underside come into contact with the tire.

When engaged the wheel locks do add extra resistance making it a little harder to to push forward, but allow you to stop at anytime without fear of rolling back down the hill. This greatly reduces the overall effort.

I also use my grade aids as a compliment to my D’s Locks when transfering to add an extra level of stability. The grade aids have been an excellent device for me and may be helpful for you.