There are plenty of benefits to having a gym membership for your special needs child. Among these are having access to professional fitness equipment and personal trainers. You may also find that taking your child to the gym can help with any social behavioral issues. But there may be times when going to the gym is not possible. These could be due to other commitments, the weather, or times when illness prevents you from taking your child to the gym. One way around this problem is to find the best home workout equipment for special needs.
There are many different types of home exercise equipment on the market. Of these, some will not be suited for use by children with special needs. You should consider purchasing some simple items to use at home to improve your (or your child’s) fitness. Here are some of our choices for the best home workout equipment for special needs children and adults.
Medicine Balls are the Best Home Workout Equipment for Special Needs
At Special Strong, our personal trainers love instructing our clients to use the medicine ball. A medicine ball is a weighted ball that comes in a variety of sizes. The right size is one that is approximately the same diameter as the width of the user’s shoulder. The medicine ball is an integral piece of equipment for exercises that help build core strength. This piece of equipment has shown surprising improvements in core strength.
Those in wheelchairs can grasp the ball with their hands, throwing the ball down on the ground or firmly twisting at the waist, using the weight in the ball as gentle momentum. Those without the use of their arms can grasp the medicine balls between their knees and perform the same workouts. Improving core strength, not only slims you down, but it also improves balance and emotional stability. Therefore, the medicine ball is one of our best home workout equipment for special needs.
Who doesn’t love to jump on the trampoline? This is a simple, inexpensive piece of equipment that most gyms don’t have. Having one in your home, garage, or backyard will make coming home after a long day a simple treat. While most people associate using a trampoline (mini or full-size) as something requiring functioning legs to use. This might have been the original intent of the designer. However, we have long since learned this isn’t necessarily true.
The reality is that you don’t have to have mobility in your lower half in order to reap the benefits. You can just sit on the trampoline and bounce up and down. This is a great cardio workout and is always sure to be a lot of fun for everyone in the family. Therefore, the mini-trampoline made it on our list of best home workout equipment for special needs.
This vestibular swing is one of the more expensive pieces of equipment. But trust us, if you can scrape enough pennies together to afford it, it’s well worth it. This swing has a variety of foam platforms to sit or lay on. You can hang this type of swing on a door frame or ceiling hook. Using it regularly can promote balance while also providing a decent cardio or ab workout in. This, of course, depends on which position you’re in while swinging.
Not only is the vestibular swing a beneficial piece of equipment, but it’s also just FUN! Soon after you install one, you may find everyone in the house using it every chance they get. Be sure you buy one rated for the heaviest person in your house and that it is a quality product. It might cost a little more for a good swing, but remember, you get what you pay for.
Some Other Home Workout Equipment for Special Needs
Most of these pieces are small and cheap, but still really helpful in your fitness journey.
4-Wheel Scooters: These scooters are meant for you or your child to sit on. You can propel it with either the use of arms, legs or a paddle. This equipment is best for use outside the home but is still great active fun!
Foam Balance Beam: If you want to improve your balance without spending a ton of money on the vestibular swing, this might be just the thing for you. Practice balancing on the foam beam without the risk of falling from a great height. To use, you simply lay the foam balance beam on the floor. The foam is typically no more than six inches tall and firm enough for most children to use without falling off.
Floor Mats: A really important part of getting your fitness on at home is safety! If you’re prone to falling over, you might consider getting some floor mats to cushion your fall. You can buy professional-quality mats in a variety of thicknesses. Some come in rolls, while others come in squares that interlock with each other. The latter is much easier to adapt to the size of your workout area. With solid mats, you have no choice but to cut them to fit.
Folding Parallel Bars: Just like the equipment in a traditional rehabilitation center, these parallel bars help you regain your balance as well as your arm and leg strength. The best part of this tool is that you can fold it up and put it away!
A Personal Trainer
Special Strong is an organization that empowers children and adults with special needs to reach peak fitness. We don’t have a “home base.” Our personal trainers will meet you at different locations. We have several gyms that we partner with, and with our expertise, we can show you which pieces of equipment would be beneficial for your fitness journey. See the difference for yourself by signing up for our 7-day free trial today! Get results before you ever pay a dime.
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.