For a very long time, it was thought that strength training for individual’s with Cerebral Palsy had the potential to increase muscle spasticity, and therefore do more harm than good. However, this has been debunked, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest that strength training and exercise is incredibly beneficial for individual’s with Cerebral Palsy.
Strength training and exercise has been shown to:
- Improve endurance and physical capacity.
- Improve muscle strength.
- Improve gait patterns and walking speed.
- Improve balance and posture.
- Improve gross motor function.
- Improve flexibility.
Added bonus? All of this can flow on to have the magical effect of improved confidence, self-esteem, and create opportunities for greater participation in activities, and with peers, and greater physical independence.
At Achieving Abilities, we do strength training with all our clients with Cerebral Palsy, even our littlest are doing it, just hidden in games and play. For others it might be more ‘sets and reps’ focussed and use weights, machines, bands and body weight.
An Exercise Physiologist can help guide you on safe exercise participation and strength training that is appropriate to the individual and their body. No individual with Cerebral Palsy has the same clinical presentation as another, so individualisation is key to safe progress.