When you have a disability, the common perception is that you won’t be able to do a lot of things in life that you used to do. With this in mind, some people who gain disabilities may feel depressed or “lacking” in terms of the new condition. Some might feel inadequate or that they’re missing a part of their lives because of their condition.

These are very valid feelings, but they don’t mean that a disabled individual can’t have fun anymore, especially in terms of fitness. If you now have a disability and you’re looking to rock your physique, here are top exercises for disabled individuals to help stay fit.

When it comes to exercising, especially when you have a disability, it’s important to remember to take precautions before beginning any routine. This isn’t to imply that there’s an inherent weakness or that you’re incapable of doing the exercises the way “others” do. This only means that there are conditions you should be aware of especially if you’re targeting certain parts of your body. This guarantees that you’ll be able to do any routine safely and soundly without any hassle.


Exercising with Disability Is Not Impossible

Interestingly, it really seems as though disabilities are not a hindrance in keeping up with your fitness and health. According to Sports England, around 17.2 percent of adults that have an infirmity, disability, or a long-term limiting illness still participate in a sport weekly.

According to Huffington Post, perhaps the problem actually lies in gyms and sports centers that are poorly equipped with the right facilities and equipment to meet the needs of disabled individuals who want to remain fit. This means a lot of people need to be a bit creative when it comes to formulating exercises that fit their needs.

It may be a helpful reminder that before undertaking the exercises listed below, you should consult a physician or a therapist regarding the health risks these exercises may have depending on your particular disability. In the same Huffington Post piece, Dom Thorpe of Disability Training states that while variation in sets and repetitions may depend on someone’s strength level and skill level, the safe “middle” ground is to be able to perform these exercises with 10 repetitions in three sets.

Meanwhile, for cardiovascular routines, individuals may perform these in a “circuit” with no rest or little rest for maximum effect.


Seated Tricep Dips

This exercise can boost the strength of the front of your shoulders, your chest, and triceps. This can greatly improve your strength, especially if you have to transfer yourself from the bed and other seats to your wheelchair. This exercise is helpful for those with partial lower body paralysis, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, motor neuron disorder, multiple sclerosis, and conditions where upper body strength remains.

This exercise can be accomplished by sitting in an armchair and lifting your entire body up through your arms and not your hips. While bending your elbows, try to lower your entire body back to the chair.


Going From Sit to Stand

Transitioning from sitting to standing seems simple but it’s actually difficult for many with disabilities. It’s a helpful exercise to increase strength and stability in your lower body, especially if you’re someone with a lower body that has been weakened. This is also helpful for those with fibromyalgia, mild cerebral palsy, obesity, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. If you have motor neuron disorders, partial lower body paralysis, or stroke, this can also be of help.

This exercise is fairly straightforward, as you just need to sit upright on a chair and stand up in a straight position. You have to do this repeatedly with proper posture. You can perform this exercise with a bit of assistance, courtesy of placing your hands on your needs. If your legs are really still struggling, you can try using a support bar if there is something of the sort attached to the wall.

If you’re using a wheelchair, you can also try to pull your body upwards and out of it while trying to put as much force as you possibly could in your legs.


Going From Sitting To Walking

The name of the exercise might seem simple, but it’s actually a great way to improve your walking. Once understand the mechanics, you’ll notice that not only does this strengthen both of your legs, it can also help you with walking.

The exercise is straightforward. Pick a room in your house with a considerable amount of space, and place two chairs on opposite ends. The mechanics are also straightforward: sit on one of the chairs and stand upright. Proceed to walk on the other chair and sit down. Repeat this process.

You can do this exercise with assistance such as a partner or crutches until you slowly regain the ability to be able to walk with reduced assistance. You may even make variations in the distance and placements of chairs for a better workout.


These top exercises above for disabled individuals to help stay fit are things you can do well if you have a disability. Remember that these exercises aren’t always fit for your particular situation, and you may need the assistance and confirmation of a physician or a physical therapist before you are able to do these things and get the kind of results you want.



Andrew Nickleson is a passionate writer, writing about disabilities and the law. He has written about many subjects aimed to help those who have questions unanswered. In his spare time he enjoys working on volunteering for those less fortunate.