What is Cerebral Palsy?
• “Cerebral palsy is a group of
disorders that can involve
brain and nervous system
functions such as movement,
learning, hearing, seeing, and
thinking. Mostly Motor skills”
• There are several different
types of cerebral palsy. So
many individuals differ with the
disorder. Spastic Cerebral
Palsy, Athetoid Cerebral Palsy,
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, Mixed
• Children and Adults with
cerebral palsy (CP) have
movement, function and
mobility that last a
• This disability is not
challenges faced by this
population stabilize once
they reach adulthood.
• Max testing for Cerebral Palsy is difficult
to establish a specific guideline for a max
test since each individual may suffer from
a different type of CP. There should be a
max test because exercise is very
important, but it should be modified.
• Spastic Cerebral Palsy
(stiff and difficult movement)
• Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
(Involuntary and uncontrolled movement)
• Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
(disturbed sense of balance and depth
• Mixed Cerebral Palsy
There may be a combination of these types
of cerebral palsy for any one person.
• Children and adults with CP also
suffer from poor physical fitness
with consequently high energy
costs and fatigue during daily
• Unfortunately, rehabilitation and
therapy services for persons with
CP often end or decrease
dramatically at adulthood, and
rarely include fitness related goals.
• “The professional trainer should
be aware of medications the client
is currently using, and should
document the presence of
seizures or associated disorders
involving the visual, auditory,
sensory, hearing, speech or
cognitive systems” (Blanchard).
• “Fitness for persons with
CP should be viewed
from the perspective of
the way fitness enhances
health, function and
- muscular endurance
• Exercises and physical activity
should be started gradually, with
close professional supervision.
• Special safety considerations include
altering exercises for the specific
• “The Universal Exercise Unit (UEU)
is used to assist children in
functional activities along with
strengthening exercises within long
intensive therapy sessions” (Euro-Peds).
• Health-related physical fitness for
persons with CP should be
developed in the same model as
fitness for all of us: start early, be
easily available and continue
throughout the life span.
F.I.T.T. Cardiovascular Training Muscle Training
Frequency 3-5 days/ week; Alternate
Rest each joint area and
muscle group 48-72
hours between workouts.
Very intensive workouts
may require extended
Intensity 60-90% maximum heart
rate (max = 220 - age) or
65-85% of 1 Repetition
Beginners should remain
near lower end for safety
Time 15-60 Minutes work up to
this slowly for safety
1-3 Sets of 6-14
Repetitions per exercise.
Type of exercise Walking; Cycling;
Aerobics; Stair climbing;
All resistance exercise:
loaded; Free weights,
FITT model for CP
Frequency 3-5 days a week 2 sessions per week
Intensity 40-85% Depends
Time 20-40 min 1-3 sets of 8-12
Type Stationary bike, arm
ergometer, walks or
wheel chair pushes
Free weights or
FITT model for CP
• “Guidelines for exercise training for persons with chronic diseases and
disabilities such as CP have been suggested:
• 1. For the person with CP, aerobic capacity and endurance can be
enhanced through exercise done at 40-85 percent peak VO2 or HR
reserve for 20-40 minutes per session, three to five days a week.
• 2. If the person is ambulatory, a stationary bicycle may be used, while an
arm ergometer is recommended if the person is in a wheelchair.
• 3. Endurance training is best done through six-to-fifteen minute walks or
wheelchair pushes, twice weekly or more often if possible.
• 4. Strength can be enhanced through the use of free weights or weight
machines doing one, two or three sets of 8-12 repetitions, two sessions
• 5. Flexibility exercises should be done for all involved and uninvolved
joints before and after all types of exercise” (ACSM).
• This 30-year-old from New
Zealand loves a challenge.
• Having cerebral palsy, his
lack of coordination and
strength in his hands adds
to the difficulty of working
with weights and other
• He has completed the New
York City Marathon twice,
on his crutches.
• Jared also dropped body fat
while gaining muscle -
(“Body For Life”).
• "Success Stories." Body For Life. EAS, 2012. Web. 17 Apr 2012.
• . "Alternative Therapy for Babies with Cerebral Palsy & Other Gross
Motor Disorders." Euro-Peds. Euro-Peds, 2010. Web. 17 Apr 2012.
• Blanchard, Y.. Health-related fitness for children and adults with
cerebral palsy . N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr 2012.