You never think you’ll need an adaptive strength training program until suddenly you do.
Take me during summer 2021.
While in the throes of doing the Hardcore on the Floor calendar, I fell and broke my wrist. I didn’t fall exercising, mind you.
Nonetheless, suddenly, I was in a cast for eight weeks and had no use of my right hand–which, by the way, is my dominant hand.
So what did I do? I adapted my workout to make up for the fact that I could no longer use my right hand.
Primarily, I did my normal strength training routine with just my left hand.
However, for core workouts, I focused solely on standing core classes.
My experience with my self designed adaptive strength training program was months before Peloton offered these kinds of classes.
That was when instructor Logan Aldridge joined the Peloton team.
Peloton adaptive strength training coach Logan Aldridge
If you didn’t know, Logan is an expert coach at adaptive training.
He lost his left arm in an accident as a teen.
However, that didn’t stop him from becoming a fitness expert.
Logan teaches all kinds of strength classes.
This is me with him after a 20-minute glutes and legs class at PSNY, which kicked my ass.
However, he also has a series of adaptive strength classes.
You can search on the Peloton website, under classes, using the term adaptive.
Right now there are 20 adaptive classes.
Peloton seated strength classes
They are evenly split between seated adaptive strength training and standing adaptive strength training.
You can also search for seated classes using the term seated.
Unfortunately, the flaws in the Peloton search algorithm come through.
That’s because after showing the 10 seated adaptive strength classes, the results include the “heated” themed classes.
Come on, Peloton!
Finally, you can search for Peloton seated yoga classes by searching using the term “Chair Yoga.”
These are part of the Peloton Yoga Anywhere series.
Unfortunately, there is a standing yoga pose called Chair, so you get those classes in your results, too.
However, you do get nearly a dozen yoga classes done while sitting in a chair.
Seated weight training classes
So, what are some of the moves these seated weight training classes include?
- Adaptive burpees
In addition, I believe you could easily look for any upper body class that Logan teaches.
Then, modify the moves to be from a seated position.
So go to Peloton classes, then use the filter to search for classes by instructor (Logan Aldridge) and then class type (upper body) or body activity (arms, back, chest, core).
New seated adaptive strength training program
In November 2022 Peloton introduced a new seated adaptive strength training program.
This was done in conjunction with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
The idea behind this program, in which Logan leads the strength classes, was to create an accessible and inclusive strength training program.
It is designed for amputees as well as those living with spinal cord injuries.
Peloton and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Here is how the press release about this new program described its purpose:
“The ‘Seated Adaptive Strength’ program is designed by Peloton Instructor Logan Aldridge with expertise contributed by Reeve Foundation community members and ambassadors especially for wheelchair users living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) or other causes of paralysis. The eight-class program, available on the platform beginning today, is geared primarily toward seated athletes with some hand and arm function. The series also includes a special meditation class led by Peloton Instructor Ross Rayburn that provides breathing techniques and other nuanced instruction designed specifically to accommodate the needs of those living with quadriplegia.”
Where is the Peloton seated adaptive program
You can find the Seated Adaptive Strength program under Peloton programs.
Not only does this program have strength training but also it includes breathwork with yoga instructor Ross Rayburn.
Adaptive training collection
In addition to this program, Peloton has also introduced a collection it’s calling Adaptive Training: Caregivers Spotlight.
This collection is a roundup curation of multi-discipline classes in strength, stretching, meditation and yoga.
Here is how Peloton describes this adaptive collection:
“This collection has been curated by Peloton and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation with caregivers in mind. Featuring classes to build and maintain both the physical and mental strength needed to fulfill a caregiver role.”
You’ll find the Adaptive Training: Caregivers Spotlight under Peloton Collections.
Peloton seated stretch
The one area where I think Peloton is lacking, as far as adaptive classes go, is seated stretch options.
Yes, there are seated warm up classes as part of Logan’s adaptive series.
However, none of these classes are listed specifically as seated stretches.
Also, as you search through stretching classes in general, you will see other Peloton instructors seated on the floor.
On the other hand, there’s no way to know if they stay 100% on the floor or seated.
So, I do think this is an area where Peloton could do a bit more: adding stretch classes that those needing an adaptive version can easily find.
Logan Aldridge and Peloton adaptive training
Here’s what Logan had to say about this new program and partnership:
“Since joining the Peloton team a year ago, I’ve been very focused on my mission to educate and support amputees and adaptive athletes of all abilities, while finding new ways to provide different populations of Members with empowering fitness solutions,” he said.
“The partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and the Seated Adaptive Strength program we created together, exemplifies exactly why I came to Peloton. It’s a really exciting moment in our ongoing commitment to our accessibility efforts, and I’m grateful to The Foundation’s community experts and ambassadors who collaborated with me to bring this program to life in support of our Members who are wheelchair users.”
Other contributors to the Peloton seated adaptive strength training
The press release announcing this program also included the names of other experts who helped design the program. They include:
- Oluwaferanmi O. Okanlami, M.D., M.S., Director of Adaptive Sports and Fitness at the University of Michigan, national disability advocate and practicing physician living with an SCI.
- Jeff Miller of The Adam Miller Memorial Fund at the University of Michigan. Paralympian Chuck Aoki, who leads Prescription to Play, a program housed at the University of Michigan’s Adaptive Sports and Fitness program that aims to increase awareness, knowledge, access, and participation as it relates to adaptive sports, fitness, recreation and other wellness resources for people with SCI.
- Former National Women’s Hockey League player Denna Laing, who experienced an SCI in 2015. Laing continues daily rehabilitation and has refused to give up her active lifestyle.
- Eric LeGrand, who established Team LeGrand of the Reeve Foundation following his SCI, which occurred on the football field when he played for Rutgers University;
- Dr. Rex Marco, a nationally renowned spinal surgeon and musculoskeletal oncologist who was paralyzed in a bicycle accident in 2019. In 2020, he established the Rex Marco, M.D., Fund of the Reeve Foundation and serves as the Foundation’s Chief Medical Ambassador.
- Hanna Neider, wife and caregiver to her husband, who lives with an SCI. Hanna also serves as Peer & Family Support Program Coordinator at the Foundation. Both Hanna and her husband have competed in marathons as part of Team Reeve to raise funds for SCI research.
FYI, Peloton already has a relationship with Paralympian Scout Bassett.
Who benefits from the Peloton adaptive strength program
As I mentioned, in summer 2021 I broke my wrist and was in a cast for most of the summer.
I figured out how to adapt my strength training to include standing core and strength training using just one arm.
However, most recently I’ve seen people in some of the Peloton Facebook groups talking about foot, knee or leg injuries.
They are so appreciative that Peloton has this adaptive option for them.
This way they can keep up their strength training and fitness program even though they can’t stand while in a cast.
Of course, they are lucky in that this is a temporary situation.
However, just like the Peloton prenatal and postpartum classes, they can shift how they work out based on what’s going on with their bodies at that time.
So I think it’s wonderful that a handful of Peloton classes are now even more inclusive than they were before.
Add more adaptive stretch classes, and I think Peloton will be in a really good place overall.