Quadriplegic Exercise Equipment

Man in wheelchair with spinal cord injury opening a refrigerator in an accessible kitchen

Quadriplegia is a condition that is typically the result of an accident that has resulted in a spinal cord injury. Quadriplegics suffer some form of paralysis in both the arms and legs, which may vary in severity depending on where along the spine the injury occurred. Specialized equipment helps quadriplegics to keep their bodies active and lead a more fulfilling life.


The higher up your spinal column your injury occurs, the worse the damage. Typically, an injury to the cervical vertebrae 1 through 3 results in little or no movement below the neck and breathing must be achieved with a ventilator. A person with a C3 injury may still have some neck motion and be able to shrug his shoulders, which enables him to control different devices with his mouth. A person with a C4 injury is often free from the ventilator, and a person with C5 damage maintains functional deltoid and biceps movement. A C6 injury sufferer will retain most of his shoulder motion, along with bending the elbow and wrist extension. People who suffer injuries to the C7 and 8 vertebrae retain triceps function, grip strength, can bend and straighten the elbows, and may not require a power wheelchair.


The Quadriciser is a large piece of motorized exercise equipment that consists of a padded seat, handles, cradles and pulleys. Your feet and lower legs rest in cradles, and your hands remain on the handles while the machine moves your arms and legs through a full range of motion. The machine also has hook-and-loop-closure gloves for those who are unable to grip the handles. The Quadriciser can be customized to different exercise speeds, directions and durations. You can start off at a gentle speed and then work your way up to a more vigorous workout once your heart rate and range of motion improve.


The Uppertone is an upper body workout machine designed for people with quadriplegia stemming from C4 and C5 injuries and below. The machine, designed by a person with quadriplegia, enables users to make all adjustments for their workout, including resistance, without any assistance, even without grip strength. The machine features three different stations and is used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers to help people deal with spinal cord injuries.

Hydro Cycle

The Hydro Cycle is a piece of equipment that combines aquatherapy with cardiovascular exercise through a passive range of motion. It consists of a recumbent chair with handles and foot pedals that is set against the resistance of water jets in a therapy tub. The movement provides a cardiovascular workout while toning and conditioning the muscles.