4 Workouts That Reduce Behaviors in Children With Special Needs

Workouts Behavior Special Needs

Children with special needs experience a lot of feelings and sensations that are difficult for them to interpret or express. Sometimes these feelings and sensations can be so strong that they become overwhelming. It can cause your child to act out – sometimes even making them feel cornered enough to hit a playmate, a sibling or you. There are many workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special needs.

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While there are medications that can help you manage the symptoms of your child’s ADD/ADHD. Many of these medications have serious and unpleasant side effects. More importantly, they do not always work. Every special needs child is different and will react to these medications differently. If you’re considering medicating your child or need something to serve as a companion solution to medication, there is an option.  At Special Strong, we recommend you try out these 4 workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special nee

1. Medicine Ball Slam

The Medicine Ball Slam is a highly recommended workout for individuals with special needs, according to Daniel Stein, the founder of Special Strong and an experienced personal trainer. Stein’s endorsement of this exercise was documented in an interview with the Achievement Center of Texas, where he shared insights about how this activity can help reduce certain behaviors.

To complete the Medicine Ball Slam exercise, an individual holds a medicine ball using both hands, lifts it over their head, and then vigorously slams it down onto a mat. The enthusiasm required for this exercise results in the engagement of many different muscle groups throughout the body. Notably, this includes the triceps, abdomen, glutes, and quadriceps.

This full-body workout, coupled with the significant levels of energy the Medicine Ball Slam necessitates, naturally helps tire the client out. The intense physical exertion acts as a type of physical outlet, reducing the likelihood of the individual exhibiting physical agitation or restlessness in the subsequent hours or even days following the exercise. Thus, the Medicine Ball Slam can serve as a practical, effective physical activity for individuals with special needs, as it simultaneously bolsters physical fitness while also promoting calmer behaviors.

2. Hitting the Punching Bag

It’s important to teach your child with special needs that it’s not OK to hit people, but it is OK to hit a punching bag. Setting boundaries early on can help children understand acceptable behavior, and having a clear outlet like a punching bag can be extremely beneficial. By setting up a designated area within your home, you provide a safe and controlled environment for your child to express and manage their emotions.

A punching bag for kids can serve multiple purposes. Not only does it offer a physical outlet for pent-up energy, but it also provides an effective form of exercise. Engaging with the punching bag involves cardiovascular activity and works out multiple muscle groups, particularly in the arms and abdomen. This kind of physical activity can help improve overall fitness and well-being.

Beyond the physical benefits, hitting the punching bag can significantly aid in developing balance and coordination. Many children with ADD/ADHD experience difficulties with these skills, and consistent practice with a punching bag can contribute to noticeable improvements. It can also be an excellent way to improve focus and reduce hyperactive behavior, making it a useful tool for managing symptoms of ADHD.

For those specifically looking for an ADHD punching bag, there are specialized options available that cater to the needs of children with ADD/ADHD. These specialized punching bags are often designed with features that make them more engaging and easier for children to use safely. Incorporating a punching bag into your child’s daily routine can help them channel their energy in a positive way. It’s also an excellent technique for stress relief, allowing them to release frustration and anger in a manner that does not involve aggressive behavior toward others. Over time, this can lead to better emotional regulation and enhanced self-control.

3. Team Sports Offer Workouts That Reduce Behaviors in Children with Special Needs

Team sports are a great way to teach your child with special needs to see others as valuable and to simultaneously work out their feelings. They’re also a game, so your child doesn’t have to view exercise as a “class” or “lesson.” They’ll have fun with their friends, they’ll wear themselves out and they’ll be less likely to act out as a result. Team sports offer excellent workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special needs.

Depending on where you live, you may find a variety of organized team sports available for kids with special needs. Among the sports you might be able to sign your child up for include:

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • And several others

Check out your community’s or city’s website, local bulletin boards found in grocery stores or churches. They might have listings for team sports that you may be able to sign your child up for. Most neighborhoods have community centers, YMCAs, and of course schools that sponsor team sports programs for both able-bodied and able-minded children. Many of them offer similar programs for kids with special needs. Not only are they designed for kids with behavioral issues, but also for those with physical special needs.

4. Regularly Scheduled Exercise or Playtime Offers Time for Workouts That Reduce Behaviors in Children with Special Needs

Creating a consistent routine for your child with special needs can help discourage impulsive behavior. Scheduling exercise can help your child know that they can release their pent-up frustrations at a specific time. At the same time having scheduled playtimes can let them know that they are guaranteed the time to play. They also know that their playtimes will always be at specific times as well.

If you want workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special needs to work, it takes an investment. It takes an investment of both your time and effort. But the one thing it doesn’t have to take is a lot of money. Physical fitness experts and personal trainers agree that it’s important to plan for 30-minute workout sessions. You should also plan to have at least two to three sessions of rigorous play or workouts each week. Doing things this way is more likely to result in improvements in behavior.

Impact of Workouts to the Behavior of Someone with Special Needs

Engaging in regular physical workouts can greatly influence the behavior of people with special needs. It provides an array of benefits ranging from improving mood to enhancing overall well-being. This is especially beneficial for those with conditions like autism or Down syndrome as a structured physical activity acts as a healthy outlet for their abundant energy, offering a sense of tranquility and concentration. The impact of these workouts is not just physical, but extends to mental, emotional, and cognitive aspects as well, influencing behavior in a positive way and encouraging a soothing environment for emotional and cognitive growth.

– Physical activities improve mood and reduce anxiety, contributing significantly to the overall well-being.
– For individuals with special needs, routines that involve structure and adaptation can serve as a crucial element to harness excess energy, thus promoting a sense of calm and focus.
– Sensory stimulation derived from workout exercises contributes to improved motor skills and spatial awareness.
– Beyond physical gains, the predictability and structure establishes a routine that fosters positive behavior and creates a conducive environment for emotional and cognitive development.

We Work with You and Your Child

At Special Strong, we have personal trainers who understand what your child is going through. All our personal trainers have physical fitness training certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT). In order to work with special needs kids, they are also Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainers.

We believe, like most fitness centers that right workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special needs can help. However, we also know that each child has their own unique needs. We also know that not all forms of exercise work for everyone. When you come to Special Strong with your child in search of the right exercises, we can help. We will sit down with you and discuss your child’s behaviors and needs.

Once we have a better understanding of these, we will work with you and your child together. Our goal is to find the right workouts that reduce behaviors in children with special needs that will work for them. Each of the exercises in our repertoire can be adapted to meet your child’s mental and physical needs.

We understand that a standard workout routine may help your child improve their physique. But at the same time, we’re also focused on improving your child’s behavior and attention span. If your child is eight years old or older, try out a few personal training sessions through our 7-day FREE trial. See the difference for yourself today before committing to anything.

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.