The Best Home Workout Equipment for Special Needs

Home Workout Special Needs

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 behavioural 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.

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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.

Mini Trampoline

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 for special needs 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.

 

Vestibular Swing

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 exercise kits 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 centre, 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!

Inclusive Fitness: Tips on Conducting Home Workouts for Special Needs

Conducting home workouts for individuals with special needs requires a thoughtful and inclusive approach. By tailoring exercises to accommodate diverse abilities, you can create a fitness routine that promotes physical health and overall well-being. Here are some detailed tips to make home workouts accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

1. Individualized Assessment

Embarking on a fitness journey begins with a thorough and individualized assessment, an essential step to tailor a program that meets everyone’s unique needs. This process goes beyond merely understanding the physical capabilities of an individual, such as mobility levels, but also involves gaining insight into their sensory preferences and taking into account any specific medical considerations that might influence their ability to participate in various exercises.

By conducting such a detailed assessment, fitness professionals can craft a workout routine that not only accounts for the physical dimensions of health and wellness but also considers the mental and emotional well-being of each participant. This personalized approach ensures that the fitness program is not only safe and effective but also fosters a positive and empowering experience for individuals, motivating them to stay engaged and achieve their health and wellness goals.

2. Adapted Exercises

In a world where traditional fitness routines often overlook the diverse needs of individuals with varying abilities, adapting exercises becomes a cornerstone of an inclusive fitness program. This involves a creative and thoughtful modification of traditional exercises to ensure that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, can participate actively in a fitness routine. For those with limited mobility, exercises can be tailored and performed in a seated position, ensuring they still engage in physical activity without the need for extensive movement.

Resistance bands offer a versatile tool for gentle strength training, adapting to different strength levels and physical conditions easily. Furthermore, the use of adaptive equipment allows for a more personalized and enjoyable workout experience, ensuring that exercises are not only accessible but also equitable. Through these adapted exercises, fitness programs can cater to a broader audience, making health and wellness achievable and enjoyable for all.

3. Clear Communication

At the heart of any successful fitness program, especially one designed to cater to a diverse group of participants, lies clear and concise communication. The essence of this approach is to foster an environment where instructions are easily understood, and participants feel supported throughout their fitness journey. This involves employing a variety of communication techniques, such as visual cues that can guide individuals through exercises without relying solely on verbal instructions, simplifying complex movements into easy-to-understand steps, and using positive reinforcement to motivate and encourage participation.

This method of communication plays a critical role in ensuring that participants are not only able to follow along with the exercises effectively but also feel valued and understood. It is this foundation of clear communication that enables a supportive and inclusive fitness environment, encouraging participants to engage fully, benefit from their workout sessions, and feel confident in their ability to pursue their fitness goals.

4. Sensory Considerations

Be mindful of sensory sensitivities when creating a workout environment. Control lighting to reduce glare, minimize background noise, and select textures and materials that are comfortable for participants. Considering sensory preferences enhances the overall comfort and engagement of individuals during the workout.

5. Variety and Fun

Infuse variety and fun into the workout routine to maintain engagement. Incorporate games, music, or themed exercises to make the experience enjoyable and motivating. By introducing elements of playfulness, participants are more likely to stay motivated and look forward to each session.

6. Family Involvement

Encourage family involvement to create a supportive atmosphere. Include activities that involve siblings or parents, fostering a sense of community and shared accomplishment. This not only strengthens familial bonds but also provides additional encouragement and motivation for the individual with special needs.

7. Consistency and Routine

Establish a consistent workout routine to provide a sense of predictability. Consistency helps individuals feel secure and comfortable during each session. Develop a structured routine that incorporates warm-ups, exercises, and cool-downs, ensuring a holistic approach to fitness.

8. Virtual Support

Leverage virtual platforms to connect with support groups, fitness professionals, or therapists specializing in adaptive workouts. Virtual sessions can offer guidance and motivation, providing a well-rounded and supervised approach to home fitness. Accessing a virtual community also facilitates the sharing of experiences and resources among caregivers and participants, enhancing the overall fitness journey.

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 adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.