An Average Session With Clients With Down Syndrome

Special Populations

When Amy and Debbie, two of my adult clients, know it is their turn to exercise, they immediately ask if they are going to warm up upstairs or downstairs. “Upstairs” means we will warm-up on the elliptical and isometric machines, and “downstairs” means using the erg and doing a dynamic warm up. They never ask when we are going to stretch, because we rarely do.


Amy and Debbie have Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome, or trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Symptoms most common to this disorder are physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild developmental delays. Physically, people with Down Syndrome have excessively lax joints and poor muscle tone and coordination. As a result, stretching is almost detrimental to their progress in strength building. For these clients, I spend most of my time programming movements that promote stability, strength, and coordination that fit within their attention span and understanding.


down syndrome, down's syndrome, trisomy 21, training down syndrome client


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