How to Train Clients with a Disability

How to Train Clients with a Disability

How to Train Clients with a Disability

Despite what many people think, exercise for special needs individuals isn’t out of the question. However, it is sometimes a precarious process. It should only be done with oversight from a trained professional and after a discussion with a specialist.

Individuals with any type of injury or disability may think that it’s harder for them to work out than others. But sometimes it’s not the result of a true absence of physical capacity. Sometimes individuals with disabilities lack the motivation they need to get started. That’s where a good personal trainer comes in.

If you thought previously that special needs or disabled clients are a rarity for personal trainers, or if you’re curious about how to get certified to help them achieve their fitness goals, here are some practical tips to get you started.


Here’s how to train clients with a disability:


Chest Workout for Special Needs People 

These exercises for special needs clients are centered around practicing the chest area and should be possible for anyone who doesn’t have any chest-area wounds. These should be possible effectively while sitting on a seat, wheelchair, or bed.


Exercise with a Resistance Band 

There are a few activities that you can do while sitting on a seat or wheelchair. All you need is a good resistance band. Here are a few examples:


Chest Press

To do a chest press, simply circle the band around the rear of your seat and place the handles at chest level. Stretch the band with two hands till your hands are straight in the front. Return to the initial position and repeat.


Turn Around Flys

Hold the band with two hands straight out in front of you. Stretch the band in an outward and in a reverse movement like feathered creatures stretch their wings. Repeat as many times as you can comfortably.

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Biceps Curl

Wrap the band under your seat’s armrest or wheelchair wheels. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Keep one hand on your lap and stretch the band upwards utilizing the other arm. Elbows will be twisted downward and arm movement ought to be upward.


There are numerous different activities you can do utilizing a resistance band. You can also continue increasing the resistance level as you improve and build muscle.


Weight Training 

You can also do lots of different weight training practices for building core muscles in a seated position. It’s actually pretty similar to exercises that able-bodied clients might do at the gym, just seated rather than standing or lying on a bench. For these activities, decide the number of reps in a set and the amount of weight your client can handle based on their level of strength and activity.


Here are a few activities to kick you off: 


Shoulder Presses

Hold weights in both arms, keeping them along the edge of your shoulders with palms facing ahead. Move your arms up and down and continue rehashing to finish a set.


Tricep Extensions

Hold one free weight with two hands over your head. Bring your arms down towards your back, behind your head. Reach out as far as you can and return to your initial position.


Bicep Curls

These should be possible utilizing weights too. Simply hold one free weight in each hand, with your hands loosened upfront and palms facing upward. Bring the weights up without raising your elbows, simply utilizing your arms and twisting your elbows.


Lower-Body Workout for People with Disabilities

The determination of a lower-body exercise for special needs individuals relies principally upon the type and level of disability.

Individuals with serious disabilities and no versatility are not prescribed to do any leg workouts. However, individuals who are mobile enough to walk can still take strolls since that isn’t too strenuous.

Here are a few leg exercises for individuals who have some versatility.


Seated Leg Extension 

This is an isometric exercise that centers around building muscle pressure without over extending the muscle.

Sit in an upstanding position, hold your armrest, and gradually lift one foot upward. Stretch your leg with your foot flexed towards the shin to create muscle tension. Gradually bring back the foot to rest and continue repeating. Next, repeat the process for the other foot.


Sit to Stand 

If you have some mobility and can stand, you can safely attempt this activity. It is very straightforward as you should simply stand up and plunk down and continue rehashing it. This activity improves lower body strength and is useful for individuals with restricted mobility.


Pedal Exerciser 

This is a special type of equipment that allows cycling like leg practice while sitting in a seat. This is useful for exercising your legs without applying too much weight and straining them.

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Special Needs Personal Training Certification: Become a Special Needs Fitness Trainer

The activities referenced above are only a a small sample of the numerous ways clients with disabilities can work out. You can also do activities like these at home or at the gym. But first: You’ll need to get certified to work with special needs clients in a fitness setting. We can help with that!

Our Special Needs Fitness Instructor Certification is designed to equip you to train people with both physical and cognitive disabilities. Once you complete the course, you’ll be prepared to help people with special needs to achieve their fitness goals. When you get certified through Special Education, you’re also joining a community of fitness professionals who share in your passion. So, on the off chance that you have any subsequent inquiries with your clients, or need additional help, remember we’re only a call or email away!

Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.


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