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Spinal Cord Injury Accessible Gym




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29 replies to this topic

#1 Charlie-boi

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:15 PM

This is aimed at all spinal cord injury folk.

What would you want from an accessible gym designed specifically for you.

Would people utilise functional electrical stimulation if it was there to be used?

Would you utilise accessible Pool facilities?

Edited by Apparelyzed, 21 February 2012 - 09:05 AM.
Optimised title and post


#2 Dutch30

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:27 PM

Since I'm able to walk normal I can pretty much use a normal gym. But I'm noticing now during PT that although the equipment is a little older I benefit the most from my trainer who is specialized in training with SCI people. So I would say that experienced trainers would be the most important thing.

And I would use a pool because I love to swim and it helps training lots of different muscle groups.

#3 Apparelyzed

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

Maybe make it an inclusive gym to make the business more financially viable?

Maybe contact Aspire, as that is exactly what they have done at Stanmore.

Regards

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#4 dancin' johnny

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

I'd like a few machines that I could work out on in the chair and some I could transfer onto. A large soft area where I could get down on the floor and do crawling, stretching and balancing exercise. An experienced trainer would be very helpful, preferably with a knowledge of the sci condition. Free drinks.

I would be interested in trying fes, if only to see my legs pumping.

I would definitely use pool facilities and perhaps develop a routine in the water.
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How does it feel to feel?

#5 Charlie-boi

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

I'd like a few machines that I could work out on in the chair and some I could transfer onto. A large soft area where I could get down on the floor and do crawling, stretching and balancing exercise.


large soft area is a great idea, i think a bench that can raise up and down to transfer onto instead of floor chair transfers would help

#6 MTB John

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:15 PM

Cables.
I do as many exercises as possible in standing to improve my core strength so cables are great for me. And of course they can be used from a chair as well.
There easy to set up, adjust and can cater to all sorts of different exercises.

I would not use an FES anymore but used one for six months as an inpatient and credit alot of my recover to it.

I'd diffinately use a pool and if it had parallel bars in it then all the better.
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#7 D. Smith

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

I would use the FES and pool setup. Cables are great as that is a way to do chainsaws with more weight without the complete strain of free weights. I would say having a few trainers to help with bench exercises (like to spot) would help greatly.
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#8 Muskie

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:20 PM

http://www.aaronbakers.com/c_o_r_e_

This gym is designed with folks with disablities in mind
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#9 wheelie182

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

- machines you can use in your chair as dj said
- transferable machines with suitable straps
- pool is a must
- some kind of adapted rowing type machine
- an environment for practising curbs, steep ramps, going up and down stairs etc
- hot naked female instructors
- a ban on anyone who makes loud groans

Here are some ones which i would love to see but know will never see the light of day due to the obvious health and safety

- long ceiling to floor rope. This would be amazing for building upper body strength
- some kind of monkey bar horizontal ladder type thing

Edited by wheelie182, 20 February 2012 - 06:33 PM.

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That's what she said!

#10 A trophy guy

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. I'm glad this was brought up.

Off the top of my head, here are what I would include in a SCI-friendly gym:

1) Numerous upper-body ergometers. I stress numerous because even in the gyms today that are "handicap-friendly", the most they will provide is one UBE. One UBE for the entire population of the gym; able-bodied and disabled.

2) Some kind of high quality, multi-use, adjustable arc-trainer; which is a cable-oriented machine that can be adjusted to work just about every single muscle in the body. They are totally accessible.

3) An olympic-sized pool outfitted with an up-to-date wheelchair lift.

4) The ceiling-to-floor rope suggested by Wheelie182 is absolutely NOT an impossibility; the gym I go to now has such a feature; so any SCI gym could definitely include such a thing. Such an activity would just have to be appropriately supervised by a trainer or someone.

5) Trainers well-versed in spinal-cord injury, with at least one living with a spinal cord injury themselves. This is extremely important in my opinion, as even the most educated, knowledgeable trainer won't be able to communicate their wisdom effectively to a person in a wheelchair.

6) Number 5 is worth repeating: even the best trainer in the world doesn't know how their knowledge applies to a body that has been changed by paralysis. The trainer needs to understand both SCI and personal training.

7) Numerous handicap-accessible toilet stalls. Jeeesus Christ how did I not put that as number one?! The lack of such a feature is probably my biggest beef at my normal gyms. Too few stalls and too many dickheads.

8) Accessible shower-stalls that have comfortable seats. In my twelve years of going to gyms as a para, I've only ever encountered ONE gym with a comfortable shower seat...and I got kicked out of that gym lol. Ever other gym has a hard plastic or wooden seat that, without me padding it with towels, would make my ass bleed if I sat on it.

9) Dumbbell-racks in which the heavy dumbbells are on the bottom and the lighter ones are on the top. This is the opposite of how every gym typically racks their dumbbells but it makes it impossible to re-rack (and often times even get them down in the first place) the heavier dumbbells.

10) Invest in HammerStrength brand equipment. In addition to being fairly accessible, it is hands-down the best weight-lifting equipment out there.
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#11 Charlie-boi

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:59 PM

It would be intresting to find a way of racking free weights so that people with less core strength can get them up.

I think cables and any machines also need to have an easy way of changeing the weight as needed.... for example loading 20kg plates up all the time will just become to wastefull in time and become annoying. Weight stacks with pins are the best option i think. All free weight benches also i think need to have multiple straps to increase the users stability... Also larger softer seats ;)

#12 D. Smith

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:05 PM

9) Dumbbell-racks in which the heavy dumbbells are on the bottom and the lighter ones are on the top. This is the opposite of how every gym typically racks their dumbbells but it makes it impossible to re-rack (and often times even get them down in the first place) the heavier dumbbells.


Luckily that is how my gym has their dumbbell rack. It does make a huge difference!
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#13 knightrider

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

You would think that most gyms would put the heavy dumbells on the bottom anyway, i've only seen a couple of places do this though.
I think more cable machines are needed and some machines or benches to have straps for stability or a different style of bench, some are scary to be on.
I like the idea of a soft floor area so you could get on the floor to do some stretches or ground work, also the idea of a height adjustable bench or plinth so you can get back up to chair level as you'll probably be too damn tired to get back into your chair and a floor to chair transfer will probably be a struggle.
I've been to a couple of gyms that have 'swing away' style seats like on the Lat pull down machine and butterfly machine, i like that as it's perfectly made for us in wheelchairs, but need to see more of them tbh and on more machnes. Maybe some anchor points for your chair with some straps or areas by a wall that lock you in place when doing some free weights so you don't tip, brakes on your chair don't always work or do the job. More cardio machines or things with cardio in mind thats a must!

I like gyms but hate waiting to use equipment, that's why i've kitted out my garage to do stuff, but still, working out at a gym is way better, if only some of these things people have posted above where available. There's probably lots more i could say on this topic but i'm sure others will point them out anyway.

Edited by knightrider, 20 February 2012 - 08:36 PM.

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#14 brockit79

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:20 PM

As I've mentioned before I recommend you take a look at the Aspire facility at Stanmore; for me it is exactly what I would love to see more locally, as you know.
Things I would like to see
  • fes
  • cross trainer jobs
  • hydropool
  • indoor courts for tennis, basketball
  • indoor space for yoga
mainly I would like to see a space for our lot to go and work out and not feel self conscious. Invite membership of ables too. Get us mixing and break down the barriers of folks preconceived ideas of what paralysed people are like and address the limitations society lay on us. A great way to get folks who may use disability aids but do not have SCI back to living their lives in a healthy way and engaging with society.

ooh another one is to have people who suffer from conditions such as SCI, for example, working there.

I have a dream C-Boi ;) nice work!
Neek me chawa, wermo, mo killie ma klounkee!

#15 Charlie-boi

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:50 AM

As I've mentioned before I recommend you take a look at the Aspire facility at Stanmore; for me it is exactly what I would love to see more locally, as you know.
Things I would like to see

  • fes
  • cross trainer jobs
  • hydropool
  • indoor courts for tennis, basketball
  • indoor space for yoga
mainly I would like to see a space for our lot to go and work out and not feel self conscious. Invite membership of ables too. Get us mixing and break down the barriers of folks preconceived ideas of what paralysed people are like and address the limitations society lay on us. A great way to get folks who may use disability aids but do not have SCI back to living their lives in a healthy way and engaging with society.

ooh another one is to have people who suffer from conditions such as SCI, for example, working there.

I have a dream C-Boi ;) nice work!



Its a difficalt call whether you want able bodies training there,

Problems being

1 I beleive sci people would travel to a exclusive gym centred on them.
2. Many sci who normally feel confident in society may not feel that way at a gym where physicality is the main focus. Many reasons being things like fearing missing a transfer. Bowel or bladder accidents which working out can influence.
3. A gym totally kitted out for disabled users may not be totally useful for able bodied.

I think a good idea may be 1 or 2 family helpers or carers should come under a membership if needed and be allowed to help spot etc.

Haveing a trainer effected by paralysis i feel will give huge benifits in people training tecniques and methods and in time like in most gyms people will copy and refine the methods themselves. Something that rarely happens for people in chairs in normal gys as they simply have no one to copy and learn from.

I also think Dietry advice aimed specifically at sci is essential!

I would like some information regarding tetra or quads and AD. I imagine exercise can set this off, What would a gym need if this type of thing was to happen? any equipment?

#16 Doodle

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:56 AM

Love the concept Charlie! I haven't really anything to add as most has been covered! But if I think, I'll add!
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#17 Edinburgh Colin

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:08 AM


I'd like a few machines that I could work out on in the chair and some I could transfer onto. A large soft area where I could get down on the floor and do crawling, stretching and balancing exercise.


large soft area is a great idea, i think a bench that can raise up and down to transfer onto instead of floor chair transfers would help

This is a great idea as then people with almost any level of injury can get onto the floor for stretching and floor based exercises, without worrying about getting down and back up again (says the man who broke his leg last summer just trying to get down!)

7) Numerous handicap-accessible toilet stalls. Jeeesus Christ how did I not put that as number one?! The lack of such a feature is probably my biggest beef at my normal gyms. Too few stalls and too many dickheads.

8) Accessible shower-stalls that have comfortable seats. In my twelve years of going to gyms as a para, I've only ever encountered ONE gym with a comfortable shower seat...and I got kicked out of that gym lol. Ever other gym has a hard plastic or wooden seat that, without me padding it with towels, would make my ass bleed if I sat on it.

Again a great idea, my gripe with some of the gyms and council facilities with disabled facilities was changing areas and equipment. I discussed this with my physios when I was doing hydro therapy sessions and they said it was one of the biggest complaints from people trying to continue with their physio programs after being released by the physios, not the gyms or pools with hoists etc but inappropriate or absent altogether suitable changing facilities.

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#18 shady

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

Where in the UK can you purchase an Uppertone please?

#19 brockit79

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:15 PM


As I've mentioned before I recommend you take a look at the Aspire facility at Stanmore; for me it is exactly what I would love to see more locally, as you know.
Things I would like to see

  • fes
  • cross trainer jobs
  • hydropool
  • indoor courts for tennis, basketball
  • indoor space for yoga
mainly I would like to see a space for our lot to go and work out and not feel self conscious. Invite membership of ables too. Get us mixing and break down the barriers of folks preconceived ideas of what paralysed people are like and address the limitations society lay on us. A great way to get folks who may use disability aids but do not have SCI back to living their lives in a healthy way and engaging with society.

ooh another one is to have people who suffer from conditions such as SCI, for example, working there.

I have a dream C-Boi ;) nice work!



Its a difficalt call whether you want able bodies training there,

Problems being

1 I beleive sci people would travel to a exclusive gym centred on them.
2. Many sci who normally feel confident in society may not feel that way at a gym where physicality is the main focus. Many reasons being things like fearing missing a transfer. Bowel or bladder accidents which working out can influence.
3. A gym totally kitted out for disabled users may not be totally useful for able bodied.

I think a good idea may be 1 or 2 family helpers or carers should come under a membership if needed and be allowed to help spot etc.

Haveing a trainer effected by paralysis i feel will give huge benifits in people training tecniques and methods and in time like in most gyms people will copy and refine the methods themselves. Something that rarely happens for people in chairs in normal gys as they simply have no one to copy and learn from.

I also think Dietry advice aimed specifically at sci is essential!

I would like some information regarding tetra or quads and AD. I imagine exercise can set this off, What would a gym need if this type of thing was to happen? any equipment?


In a perfect world I would like to have a place for only SCI'd because of the points that you raised. I know for a fact that I would travel BUT you have to ask the question are there enough exercise loving SCI to make it a viable business venture? IDK, I hope there are and I hope that you get it going because I think sport and exercise is a the key to a bright future; for me it is any way.

Go Super Charlie Charger hi5!
Neek me chawa, wermo, mo killie ma klounkee!

#20 Mary-Anne

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:22 PM

If you google
spinal cord injury ymca
you will find inclusive health clubs in America
that actually provide exercise for
people living with Spinal Cord Injury.
You might be able to contact the clubs who have done this
to see what level of use they saw.

I suspect that one constraint on using a club is getting to it.
The best club in the wrong place will not be used.
A lot of people living with SCI don't drive.

According to what I read,
American law will soon require swimming pool lifts
for public pools. This will also give people with SCI a reason to
visit health clubs which they had not considered before.
See for example
http://www.swimtownp...lifts-a/259.htm

#21 Tetracyclone

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:33 AM

There is a trend in the NE of the US, and probably nationwide, for Physical Therapy Clinics to team up with several other medical services, plus a regular health club, and build a center that offers many services. Since they are newly build they are very nice.

The ones in my area have at least 2 machines that a person can transfer to and use the hand cycle. It is interesting that there are also 2 hand cycles at which one must stand. These have proven VERY popular with AB weightlifters.

Here are the machines I favor. The SCIfit has a hilarious brand name, don't you think? Anyone with a bit of leg function can use it to entice more leg function, since you can support leg movement with your arms. Cybex elliptical I like because I am able to get up on it. I pull my chair up behind it, put one foot in its platform, then pull myself up, balance against the side while putting the other foot in its platform. This requires some bravado and coordination, but is possible. The motion makes sweeping steps and is very good for stretching and training the hips and pelvic bowl.

Finally, I think ATG mentioned wanting a rope climb. There is a rope-climb machine that the ABs love. I do not know if ATG could belt himself down to it, nor if that would be safe, but here it is. An expensive substitute for a simple rope, isn't it?

SCIfit makes other machines as well that are geared to people with disabilities, while also offering something to people who do not consider themselves disabled.

No PT clinic on its own can afford a broad array of expensive machines, each of which costs $5-7000 USD. When they combine with a general health club they create an inclusive atmosphere where all can be comfortable and a better assortment of machines can be purchased. Injured athletes use the facility while getting PT, find it has everything they could want as they recover, then become members.

At the club in Ithaca I often ran into 2 other women in chairs- one an incomplete para level, and the other an amputee. There was also a young guy with CP in a chair, though he could do things standing (as can I), who I would see in the mornings. He came with a carer who assisted with his program.

About 20% of the members are weight-lifting addicts. ATG knows the type- they look deformed. Other people came to swim and people with joint problems used the heated pool. I always found the weight-lifting people eager to help set up machines for me. Several offered to spot for me if I ever needed, and I did ask one guy to help me try something that, it turned out, i could not do. I would not have been able to figure out if I could or not without his help.

My experience is that these places make it feel "normal" for all kinds of folks to participate, whatever their capabilities. My business sense says this is the only way to support a first class facility in a small city. I advise the S C Injured to pluck up their courage and get out in these mixed situations, if at all possible.

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#22 A trophy guy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:54 AM

There is a trend in the NE of the US, and probably nationwide, for Physical Therapy Clinics to team up with several other medical services, plus a regular health club, and build a center that offers many services. Since they are newly build they are very nice.


Here are the machines I favor. The SCIfit has a hilarious brand name, don't you think? Anyone with a bit of leg function can use it to entice more leg function, since you can support leg movement with your arms. Cybex elliptical I like because I am able to get up on it. I pull my chair up behind it, put one foot in its platform, then pull myself up, balance against the side while putting the other foot in its platform. This requires some bravado and coordination, but is possible. The motion makes sweeping steps and is very good for stretching and training the hips and pelvic bowl.

Finally, I think ATG mentioned wanting a rope climb. There is a rope-climb machine that the ABs love. I do not know if ATG could belt himself down to it, nor if that would be safe, but here it is. An expensive substitute for a simple rope, isn't it?

Ahh yes, the club I currently train at is exactly such a facility. I incorporates a state-of-the-art fitness center with with a SCI-physical therapy clinic and massage services and other features. It really is quite a nice place.

I wasn't the one who posted about wanting a floor-to-ceiling rope climb, that was Wheelie182. I just posted to say that such a thing definitely wasn't impossible as that it was a feature at my gym now (he didn't think it was do-able).

Oh and SciFit is the brand I love as well! Absolutely the best, I agree hands down.

Edited by A trophy guy, 22 February 2012 - 02:55 AM.

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#23 Apparelyzed

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

Where in the UK can you purchase an Uppertone please?


I bought mine from Cyclone, try them for starters.

These guys have an accessible gym, http://www.tops.uk.com

They're based in Wakefield, they might give you some ideas.

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#24 wheelie182

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

I wasn't the one who posted about wanting a floor-to-ceiling rope climb, that was Wheelie182. I just posted to say that such a thing definitely wasn't impossible as that it was a feature at my gym now (he didn't think it was do-able).


Do they let you use it?
That's what she said!

#25 brockit79

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:22 PM

This is aimed at all spinal cord injury folk.

What would you want from an accessible gym designed specifically for you.

Would people utilise functional electrical stimulation if it was there to be used?

Would you utilise accessible Pool facilities?


Just thought, I would like to see personal training sessions for SCI too
Neek me chawa, wermo, mo killie ma klounkee!

#26 Tetracyclone

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:21 PM

I wasn't the one who posted about wanting a floor-to-ceiling rope climb, that was Wheelie182. I just posted to say that such a thing definitely wasn't impossible as that it was a feature at my gym now (he didn't think it was do-able).

Do they let you use it?


I will give it a try next time I am there, though I am traveling now. They have never questioned my judgement on anything. This does not answer the question for ATG, whose situation as a complete is quite different.

Brokit79- I have found some personal trainers who do not specialize to offer me quite a bit of useful expertise. There is an older gent (71) at the gym who works as a trainer. He retired from coaching gymnastics at Cornell and has a long line of impressive credentials. He tends to be selected by the elderly members and has learned some things about paralysis and weakness brought on by long disuse, which is a big problem for incompletes. Anyway, you just never know where you will find help. Read people's credentials if they are posted.

Edited by Tetracyclone, 22 February 2012 - 09:12 PM.


#27 ajl338

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:37 PM

Actually how many people have been down to their local gym and asked what there is and how it can be used. I was suprised, i was expecting not a lot and actually with the acception of the cross trainers, running machines and exercise bikes i can use all the rest.
All the machine seats come as standard with levers so seats swing aside and allow chairs to get in, like the chest press and the lat machine. The cables machine is fully alterable. I just about have enough core to work a rowing machine and we have a couple of hand pedaled machines. All the free weights etc are accessible as are the swiss balls and medicine balls.

What is harder for me was to find an instructor with sufficient knowledge to understand how it all worked and what would be benificial to me. Seen three different people but they all had some good ideas.
The pool is a public one and it has a hoist. Again the downside to this is the ability of the lifeguards to put it together, but they can normally find one that is ok.

You dont need an singing dancing gyms, the cables are good but when away on ski camp we had a gym set up in the barn with no machines and a lot of rubber stretchy things and mats.

My biggest issue with the gym is not having space between some of the machines so i have to go the long way round to get there.

ann
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#28 A trophy guy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:51 AM


I wasn't the one who posted about wanting a floor-to-ceiling rope climb, that was Wheelie182. I just posted to say that such a thing definitely wasn't impossible as that it was a feature at my gym now (he didn't think it was do-able).


Do they let you use it?

Yes, it is there specifically for the SCI trainers/physical therapists/clients.

Blessed but Cursed


#29 Charlie-boi

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:24 PM

Thanks for the ideas guys ive noted down some important points

#30 lee5595

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

Where in the UK can you purchase an Uppertone please?


These guys have some cool looking equipment, not uppertone but look pretty similar

http://www.spokz.co....m-equipment.asp


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