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Top Three Exercise Equipment for Special Needs

Top Three Exercise Equipment for Special Needs

In the special needs world, one of the most common questions that we get asked are “what types of in-home exercises can my son or daughter do?  That’s a difficult question to answer, because it depends on the type of special need and the level the participant is at.  The good news is that you can start anywhere and there are ways to modify every exercise to make it easier or harder for the participant.  For that reason, we’ve selected the top three exercise equipment for special needs that you can use to perform a variety of different movements.  These different types of exercise equipment work great for individuals with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and more.


1.) The SandBell

The Sandbell is our first choice of the top three exercise equipment for special needs to use in the gym or at home with our clients.  It’s incredibly simple, safe, and cost-effective.  In case you’ve never heard of a sandbell, here is a description of the sandbell.

“SandBell sand-filled neoprene disk free weights from Hyperwear are designed to deliver more effective lift, lunge, toss, squat and slam functional exercises. Moving sand gets your body working in ways that dumbbells, medicine balls, and kettlebells cannot. Made from soft but durable neoprene, Hyperwear SandBells are also safer for you and your floors.”

One of the reasons we like the sandbell so much is because it’s a functional exercise.  From picking up to lifting, the sandbell represents movements that your likely to do on a daily basis.  Here’s a good sample workout you can try at home

SandBell Home Workout

A: 10-Sandbell Slams

* Start with the sandbell overhead.  With the knees bent, slam the ball into the ground as hard as possible.  Repeat 10 times.

B: 10-Sandbell Squats

* Start with feet shoulder-width apart and the sandbell laying on your upper chest or across your arms folded.  Slowly, bend the knees and stick the hips back like you are sitting in a chair.  Stand back up and repeat ten times.

C: 30-60 seconds -Sandbell Overhead Carry

* Start with holding the sandbell above the head.  While walking, keep the arms straight and the elbows locked.  Repeat this for 30-60 seconds.


2.) 6” Hurdles

The hurdles are our second choice of the top three exercise equipment for special needs.  Speed agility hurdles are not only for athletes, but they really help the special needs population.  They are also simple to use and are very cost-effective.  They can also be combined with the Sandbells. Here’s a good sample workout you can try at home.

(5) 6” hurdles

Start by placing all 6” hurdles about 6-12 inches apart from each other.  Once set up, have the participant walk over each hurdle step without touching the hurdle.  As they progress, have them hold a sandbell above their heads while completing the activity.

3.) 12-Rung Speed Agility Ladder

The speed agility ladder is our third choice of the top three exercise equipment for special needs.  It is a blast once you get the hang of it!  There are hundreds of different exercises you can try with individuals that are on the spectrum, have down syndrome, or have cerebral palsy.  Try going to YouTube and searching for “speed ladder drills.”

The best exercises are the ones that your son or daughter is going to enjoy and do consistently.  The ones we have selected above work for most of our clients in our private training and boot camp programs.  If you want more information on our services or different types of exercise equipment for special needs, please contact us here.

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.