Disabled Clients

Personal Training for Disabled Clients

John’s qualification in this field is a Level 3 Award in Programming and Supervising Exercise with Disabled Clients. He can, therefore, design, agree and adapt safe physical activity programmes for disabled people.

This is based on an understanding of various aspects of exercise for disabled clients. Using a client-centred and functional approach to disability, we can determine how best to create exercise programmes. These will then provide the many benefits that being physically active can bring.

You can work independently with John as your personal trainer, or as part of a wider care team. Because every client is different, the focus on your needs is paramount. In other words, each client has a variety of social, psychological, mental, physical, medical and nutritional needs that make up their total health.

Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercising is more than just about getting fit. Being physically active is a lifestyle choice for many disabled people. Regular exercise is proven to provide social and personal benefits as well as improving physical and mental health:

Physical Benefits

  • Reduces the overall risk of cancer
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Lowers high blood pressure – reducing the risk of developing heart disease
  • Promotes healthy blood sugar levels to prevent or control diabetes
  • Provides natural pain relief
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight (in combination with a balanced diet)
  • Reduces premature mortality by between 20-30% (The Information Centre, 2006)

Social Benefits:

  • Boosts self-confidence and help prevent depression
  • Can help with the treatment of depression and anxiety
  • Improves self-esteem related to appearance

Everyday Life Benefits

  • Improves co-ordination
  • Increases strength and balance, and therefore reduces falls and fractures.
  • Heightens sleep quality
  • Promotes psychological well-being
  • Reduces feelings of stress

Economic Benefits

  • Improves work performance due to greater mental and physical ability
  • Increases productivity and efficiency from improved motivation
Understanding the barriers

There are around 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. This represents more than one in five of the overall population. (1)

79% of people without a disability are defined as active (at least 30 minutes exercise of moderate intensity per week). For those with disabilities, having:

  • 1 impairment, 66% are active
  • 2 impairments, 59% are active
  • 3 or more impairments, 49% are active (2)

In other words, more than 4 out of 5 disabled people could benefit from some form of physical activity. As this represents 14% of the UK population, it is clear that more needs to be done.

Part of this is understanding why disabled people do not take part in physical activity.

The same medical conditions that create the need for more exercise may themselves create a barrier. The need to store or administer medication may also be an issue.

The heightened self-consciousness that many disabled people feel, even though perceived, is very real to the individual.

Overcoming the Barriers

No barriers are insurmountable.

Through consultation with John, you will define your exercise goals and develop a programme to achieve them. In addition, identifying barriers and ways to overcome them is part of this process. As with all clients, this process also takes into account what types of physical activity you prefer. We also relate exercise to functional movements, i.e. those that you perform in daily life.


In short, John must ensure that the exercise programme meets the disabled person’s needs by reconciling:

  • The personal goals of the client
  • Any limitations or barriers to participation
  • Available resources

The consultation is an in-depth discussion to assess the needs of the disabled client. The overall goal of the consultation is to ascertain your level of readiness for exercise. In other words, what type of exercise programme will challenge and develop your fitness to obtain your goals.

This may involve talking to (and keep an ongoing dialogue with) carers and those involved in ongoing physiotherapy, rehabilitation or other care of the client. In particular, the condition of a client may improve/deteriorate or their apparent tolerance to exercise might change over time.

John will consider any limitations imposed by your disability and assess the additional needs you may have to enable you to engage with exercise.

Finally, we may need to employ resources and/or specialist knowledge, and provide solutions to ensure access to facilities and equipment.

Please use the form on our Contact page to enquire about personal training with John for disabled clients.


(1) Family Resources Survey, Department for Work & Pensions (2016/17)

(2) Active Lives Survey 1, Sport England (2015/2016)