Being disabled should not stop or hinder a person from being physically fit. Even if a person is physically impaired he or she can still do strength training with the blessing of his or her physician.
Dr. James H. Rimmer, director of the Lakeshore Foundation at the University of Alabama, says maintaining a high level of fitness among persons with disabilities has even greater importance that those who don’t. His research reveals these individuals would benefit greatly from participation in resistance training programmes which would enable them to maintain their physical function and independence.
Dr. Rimmer emphasies that persons with disabilities lack adequate muscular strength and endurance. If this is left unchecked, they may have difficulty participating in social and community events, eventually decreasing the person’s quality of life.
According to him, participating in strength training programmes will enable a disabled person to:
• Provide greater confidence in accomplishing more physically demanding tasks
• Greatly improve ability to overcome physical barriers in the environment
• Provide greater freedom and physical independence
Certified personal trainer Nicole Nichols, America’s Top Personal Trainer To Watch in 2011, advocates the use of strength training machines if the individual suffers from a condition that causes involuntary limb movement.
She recommends the following exercises for those with limited mobility:
• Seated chair knee lifts—abdominals
• Concentration curls—biceps
• Dumbbell shoulder press
• Seated dumbbell triceps extension
• Wrist curls
• Seated leg extension and pump—quadriceps
To gain the important benefits of strength training, it is a must for any disabled person to first consult with his or her physician before proceeding. A certified personal trainer can help draw up the appropriate fitness programme.
Once a physically impaired individual has been cleared for strength training, it is only a matter of time before the immense benefits are reaped.