29th Annual RESNA Conference Proceedings

Take-off Strategies Used to Initiate Wheelchair Wheelies: a Kinematic Verification

Kim Parker, MASc, R. Lee Kirby, MD, Rebecca Li


We recorded wheelchair kinematics (Optotrak) and surface electromyography (EMG) of the left upper limb as a single skilled subject performed four trials of a stationary wheelie on a smooth level surface. Both forward-only and backward-forward take-off strategies were used. Wheelchair displacement and pitch results were derived. Regardless of take-off strategy, there were no identifiable latencies between the onsets of forward displacement and rear pitch during the take-off phases in all trials. The biceps and forearm muscles were the most active, but the magnitude of the EMG did not exceed 20% of the maximum voluntary contraction in any trial. The temporal EMG patterns were somewhat variable among trials. These findings have implications for future studies.


wheelchair, wheelie, rehabilitation, kinematics, electromyography


Kim Parker, CLFL
QEII Health Sciences Centre
1341 Summer Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4K4
(902) 473-2893.

This should be in the right column.