The Best Exercises for People with Motion Disabilities

Exercising when you have a motion disability can be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible. Read on below to learn more about the best exercises to keep in mind if you have a motion disability…

The Best Exercises for People with Motion Disabilities

Finding the motivation to exercise isn’t always easy, but it can prove to be even more difficult if you have a motion disability, such as Cerebral Palsy or Multiple Sclerosis. Certain exercises that appear to be simple for able-bodied people are often incredibly challenging, or simply impossible, for someone with a motion disability. However, getting the right amount of exercise is important for everyone, which means some alternatives need to be found. 

There are countless important steps that need to be taken if you have a motion disability. Claiming compensation, for example cerebral palsy compensation, to afford exercise equipment, is just a start. You then need to research the types of exercises that will work for you – here’s a start… 

10 Exercises for People with Motion Disabilities 

1) Sit to Stand 

One of the simplest exercises you can do if you have a motion disability is a simple sit to stand movement. When you’re in a sitting position, keep your back as straight as you’re able and slowly move into a standing position, repeating the process as many times as possible. 

This motion will help to build strength in the lower half of your body, as well as helping to loosen your joints. This is especially important if you find yourself in a seated position more often than not. 

2) Joint Rotations 

When you have a motion disability, such as cerebral palsy, your joints are likely to quickly become stiff over a short period of time. So, what can you do? Keep them moving! 

Taking five minutes to keep all of your joints rotating is a great physical exercise for anyone with a physical disability. Rotations can be short for the wrists and ankles and, if possible, larger for shoulders and knees. This will also help to promote blood circulation. 

3) Stretching and Balancing 

Stretching and balancing is an essential exercise for people with motion disabilities. When the muscles aren’t used as often as they should be, they can end up tightening, which can lead to involuntary spasms and contractions (spasticity). 

So, you can combat this by gently stretching the major muscles through extensions and, if you’re capable, combine this with simple balancing exercises. When attempting balancing exercises, be sure to have aid, or someone around to support you just in case you push yourself too far. 

4) Body Weight Exercises 

Using your own body weight is a great way of exercising, as it doesn’t require any expensive equipment, and can be done without having to visit a gym. 

You can use your own body weight in exercises like assisted push-ups or triceps dips, to help build your upper body strength and to burn calories. 

5) Static Cycling 

The majority of motion disabilities do not lend themselves to cycling on the road, but you can still reap the benefits of cycling by using alternative methods, such as static cycling. 

There are a wide variety of static exercise bikes, that cover different budgets, and some are more suited to certain physical disabilities. For example, some exercise bikes see the user in a more reclined position, making it much easier to mount and dismount without any assistance. 

The Best Exercises for People with Motion Disabilities  

If you’re looking for a gentle form of exercise that gets you out in the open, then short, gentle walks are a great place to start. You don’t necessarily need to have a scheduled route to take – you can simply walk around the block at first. 

Walking is not just a great aerobic exercise, but it helps to get your joints moving and reduce stiffness, as well as alleviating back pain. And everyone likes to be out in the fresh air, don’t they? 

7) Aquatic Exercise 

There’s a reason why being in the water is a brilliant way to exercise. Water reduces the effects of gravity, which means the pain and stress your body goes through is greatly reduced. 

By taking to a swimming pool, you can stretch and strengthen your arms and legs, using the weight of the water to help counteract any balance issues you have. It’s much less effort than being on land, with the added benefit of having a similar positive effect on your physical health. 

8) Team Sports 

Just because you have a motion disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t engage in a team sport. Almost every team sport you can think of can still be enjoyed in some capacity, so it’s a good idea to go out and take a look at what’s on offer in your local area. 

If you want some inspiration, have a look at the sorts of events that take place at the Paralympics. You can be sure that there are entry-level clubs for every discipline you see! 

9) Weights 

You may not want to use weights to become a bodybuilder (or maybe you do!), but they are an important part of any exercise regime for a reason. Using weights regularly will build up your strength and resilience and help to combat some of the issues that may coincide with your motion disability. 

As should always be the case with weights, it’s important to start light and work your way up. Pushing yourself with heavy weights can result in an injury, so always be sure to take it steady at first. 

Are You Looking to Exercise with a Motion Disability? 

So, there you have it! As you can probably tell, there are countless different exercises you can do if you have a motion disability. The best advice is to experiment with which ones you feel comfortable with, and adapt them as you see fit, matching what your body is capable of. It is also recommended to hire a physical therapist for private sessions, which should be valid under the NDIS plan.

Have you got any more exercises you’d recommend to someone with a motion disability? Feel free to leave a comment below with your suggestions!

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