If you are not familiar with Special Olympics, it is a global organization that assists individuals with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities participate in sport, learn about health, and create lasting relationships with friends and teammates. One of the things I have the privilege to do is work with a variety of different special olympics states in helping educate the athletes, coaches, and family, on how to make healthy decisions in their lives both on and off the field. Because of this work, I have been able to meet numerous wonderful human beings, including an individual that I currently train today.
Special Olympics Workout
As noted in the video above, the workout I currently do with this athlete takes about an hour. We spend about 10-15 minutes going for a walk at the beginning of the workout. This allows us to catch up on each others lives, and voice any concerns about the workout ahead. When it comes to the actual workout, I like picking three main exercises to cycle through three times. We do all of the movements in a circuit, meaning that we do one exercise, followed by another exercise, followed by another exercise. During the workout we take as many breaks as we need to do, as some exercises are more taxing than others. For the workout above, the three exercises I chose for the day were goblet squats, banded row, and a core twist. When programming, I usually focus on compound movements that work multiple muscles during each exercise. In addition to this, I usually alternate which muscle groups we work from workout to workout. (Upper body pushing exercises one day, and upper body pulling exercises the next day, for example.) Once we have finished the workout, he is good to go! We got plenty of time to socialize, get in some exercise, and a few minutes to spare, all in just an hour!
Beyond The Workout
Working out is great for your overall body and muscle health. This is one of the main reasons that the athlete I work with, enjoys his workouts. In addition to this, there is another aspect of working out that helps individuals with disabilities as well. This being there confidence. The athlete in the video, before, during, and after the workout enjoys talking about “how strong” and what capabilities they can accomplish. This is HUGE when it comes to improving self esteem inside and outside of the gym. This is one of the coolest things that I notice when individuals with disabilities work out consistently. They start realizing how much independence and control they can have on their health. They start to gain confidence in the things that they can do, and forget about the things their disability hinders them to do. The workout is more than just a workout. It helps propel them into life as a stronger, smarter, and more confident human being.
I always enjoy highlighting Special Olympics when I can. If you are somebody with a disability, know someone with a disability, or care for someone with a disability, and are interested in getting them signed up for Special Olympics and all of the activities that they have, full free to visit their website here: Special Olympics. They have excellent opportunities for education, sport, and beyond for individuals of ALL abilities.
We hope this video will show you that regardless of your ability, you can workout, be strong, and take on the world!
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