Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

16 Beneficial Cerebral Palsy Exercises

30th September 2022
cerebral palsy exercises

The cerebral palsy exercises that are most beneficial for adults who have cerebral palsy will assist them in becoming as functional as they possibly can and will avoid secondary issues from becoming worse. Here we will provide a list of 16 useful cerebral palsy exercises, as well as the benefits of performing such activities.

Exercising regularly can improve your range of motion, lower your chance of developing depression, enable you to preserve a healthy weight, boost your circulation, and ensure that your musculoskeletal system remains robust.

Because the consequences of cerebral palsy, such as spasticity (high muscular tone), might get worse with time, it is absolutely necessary to exercise in order to slow the progression of the condition.

Because each individual’s experience of cerebral palsy is unique, the most effective kind of treatment is one that is individualized. A physical therapist will evaluate your functional capabilities and devise an individualized treatment plan for your recovery. Instead of focusing on the activities that frustrate you, shift your attention to those that challenge you.

How do you rehab cerebral palsy?

Various approaches and techniques are used in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy (CP), ranging from very conservative and conventional techniques such as muscle strengthening, manual stretching, and massage to more complex motor learning-based theories such as neurodevelopmental treatment, conductive education, and several others cerebral palsy exercises.

Motor abnormalities in CP are typically accompanied with disturbances in sensation, cognition, communication, perception, and/or behavior; hence, therapy approaches are tailored to fit the needs of the particular child.

Can cerebral palsy improve with exercise?

cerebral palsy exercises

One of the most important cerebral palsy exercises for people is stretching. A muscle must first be stretched before it can be strengthened. Stretching increases range of motion, decreases stiffness, lengthens tight muscles, and alleviates discomfort.

Joint Rotation

Perform rotations on all of your major joints, including the neck, to either increase or maintain a healthy range of motion in your body.

This encompasses the following:

  • Hips and Knees
  • Ankle and Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Wrists

First, rotate them in one way several times, and then switch to rotating them in the other direction. The result will be a reduction in stiffness and an increase in circulation.

Calf Stretch

Spasticity, which is defined as involuntary muscle contractions, affects the calves of a significant number of people who have cerebral palsy. This can cause the heels to be pulled upwards, which can lead to aberrant gait patterns such as toe walking.

To loosen up calves that are too tight, stand with your back to a wall and step backwards significantly with one leg. Make the necessary adjustments to your stance by bending the front leg and lifting the back heel of the leg that is behind you.

Lean your arms up against the wall for support, and slowly move your heel away from the wall. After holding this position for 20 to 30 seconds, switch legs.

Quadricep Stretch

The quadriceps are the muscles on the front of your thighs. When your knees become tight, they may begin to bend inwards, contributing to aberrant walking patterns.

Sit on the floor with one leg bent back and the other out in front of you to stretch your quads. Lean back gently until you feel strain but not discomfort. Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching legs.

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are the muscles at the rear of your thighs. Because these muscles oppose the quads, they must also be stretched to allow for normal hip and knee movements.

Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of you and bend forward in a pain-free range to stretch the hamstrings. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating.

Shoulder Stretch

Raise one arm behind your head and bend it. Gently press the elbow back with your other arm’s hand until you feel the strain. Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching arms.

Vibration Therapy

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most frequent kind of CP. Spastic CP has three subtypes: spastic diplegia (SD), spastic hemiplegia (SH), and spastic quadriplegia (SQ). It is characterized by muscle weakness, tone disbalance, muscle atrophy, joint deformity, and aberrant tissue contractures.

Vibration therapy for cerebral palsy reduces spasticity, according to research. The activity increases lower limb strength, reduces knee spasticity, boosts power force and velocity, and improves quadriceps femoris isometric strength. WBV cerebral palsy exercises produce neuromuscular changes akin to resistive training.

Arm Over Chest

Swing one arm over your chest, holding it in place with the other. Gently squeeze the arm against your body to tighten the wrap around the chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching sides.

Trunk Tilts

Lay on your back and rotate your upper body to one side slowly. Legs should not be moved. After 20 seconds, rotate your upper body to the opposing side. This stretch stretches the sides of your trunk.

Trunk Twist

Trunk twists can be done while sitting and standing. Keep your lower body stable by placing your feet on the floor. Gently twist your upper body to one side, hold for 20 seconds, and then repeat.

Wheelchair Aerobics

Wheelchair aerobics can be an efficient cardio workout if your cerebral palsy mostly affects your legs or one side of your body. It stresses upper body mobility while seated.


Dancing is a workout that everyone may do at any time and in any place. Turn on some upbeat music for cardio. Music has been shown to affect physical changes in heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and respiration.

Wheelchair Pushes

Pushing your wheelchair is a terrific arm and chest strengthening cerebral palsy exercises as well as a cardio workout for people with CP in the lower body. As much as possible, push your wheelchair instead than having others push it for you. This is a simple method for incorporating strength training into your regular routine.

Wheelchair Push-Ups

First, make sure your wheelchair brakes are engaged. Then, with your feet level on the floor, sit on the edge of your seat. Lift your body up by placing your hands on the armrests and pressing down. Your feet should remain on the floor, supporting some of your weight.

Resistance Band Training

Muscles can be strengthened in a wide number of ways by using resistance bands, which come in a wide variety of resistance levels and can be used for a wide variety of cerebral palsy exercises.

Moving with Weighted Cuffs

Wearing weighted cuffs around your wrists or ankles throughout the day is an easy technique to increase strength. A few extra pounds may not seem like much, but they do add up over time.

Aquatic Exercise

Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to move fast in water than on land? This is due to the fact that liquids have higher viscosity (resistance) than gases. The additional resistance will aid in muscular strengthening.

What activities can a child with cerebral palsy do?

Arts and Crafts

Children of all ages enjoy drawing, painting, wood carving, paper crafts, sewing, and a variety of other creative activities. They provide vital chances for motor skill development, dexterity, artistic expression, and a feeling of self in children with cerebral palsy.

Instilling a sense of creative achievement in a supportive atmosphere can be a very beneficial therapeutic strategy wherever possible. Art, like aquatic therapy, is a recognized type of treatment.

Field Trips

While field excursions and community programs are frequently aimed toward able-bodied youngsters, there are ways to make them available to everyone. Nature excursions, bike trips, fishing, and gardening are all excellent exploring activities for youngsters who use wheelchairs.

However, there are several things to keep in mind. Avoiding sandy beaches and unpaved trails, for example, is a good idea, as is providing raised planting boxes made for wheelchair users and adaptable bikes for cycling.


Dynamic activities such as dancing foster a sense of community as well, but according to study, dancing is much more than just social for children with cerebral palsy. In one study, the outcomes of kinesiotherapy (or movement therapy) and dancing were compared.

Dancing has been shown to increase at least seven functions, including independence, self-care, mobility, locomotion, communication, psychosocial adjustment, and cognitive ability. Students may feel physical and mental joy in sharing this experience if they are able.


Top Posts

Learn more about
the benefits of using vibration therapy and our G series vibrations machines.
Your Cart