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Immersive and challenging workouts for wheelchair users


Logan Aldridge, Peloton Instructor and Adaptive Training Specialist, will lead a special class series co-created with expertise from the Reeve Foundation community.

Peloton and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation have announced the launch of a special adaptive fitness collaboration aimed at bringing immersive and challenging workouts into people's lives in a more accessible, efficient, and community-driven manner.

The "Seated Adaptive Strength" program was created by Peloton Instructor Logan Aldridge with assistance from Reeve Foundation community members and ambassadors, and is intended specifically for wheelchair users suffering from a spinal cord injury (SCI) or other causes of paralysis.

The eight-class program, which is now available on the platform, is primarily geared toward seated athletes with some hand and arm function. The series also includes a special meditation class led by Peloton Instructor Ross Rayburn that includes breathing techniques and other nuanced instruction tailored to the needs of those living with quadriplegia.

In addition, in honor of National Family Caregivers Month in November, Peloton and the Reeve Foundation have curated "Adaptive Training: Caregivers Spotlight," a collection of 28 classes designed specifically for caregivers.

These classes were chosen from Peloton's content library to support caregivers' mental, emotional, and physical health - both as self-care and for the often strenuous work that is required for caregiving, such as wheelchair transfers. Breathwork, upper body stretches, lower body strength, healthy back yoga flows, and strength warm-ups are among the topics covered in the collection.

“Inclusion is defined as ‘for everyone,’ and accessible means ‘attainable, achievable for all,’” said 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. Dr. Okanlami shared his expertise to inform the Seated Adaptive Strength program.

“The path to full inclusion and accessibility is not a one-stop effort, but a process and this collaboration represents an exciting phase on the journey. It’s been my pleasure to be able to join this effort, as it acknowledges the importance of lived experience.” said Dr. Okanlami and Jeff Miller of The Adam Miller Memorial Fund  at the University of Michigan were instrumental in crafting the program.

Other Reeve Foundation community members who provided valuable feedback as the program evolved include:
  • Paralympian Chuck Aoki, who directs 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 in adaptive sports, fitness, recreation, and other wellness resources for people with SCI; and • Denna Laing, a former National Women's Hockey League player who suffered an SCI in 2015. Laing is continuing her rehabilitation on a daily basis and has refused to give up her active lifestyle.
  • Eric LeGrand, who founded Team LeGrand of the Reeve Foundation after suffering a SCI while playing football for Rutgers University; • Dr. Rex Marco, a nationally renowned spinal surgeon and musculoskeletal oncologist who was paralyzed in a bicycle accident in 2019. • Hanna Neider, wife and caregiver to her husband, who has an SCI. He established the Rex Marco, M.D., Fund of the Reeve Foundation in 2020 and serves as the Foundation's Chief Medical Ambassador. Hanna also works as the Foundation's Peer & Family Support Program Coordinator. Hanna and her husband both ran marathons as part of Team Reeve to raise money for SCI research.
This partnership, the first of its kind between a leading interactive fitness platform and a nonprofit, builds on the Reeve Foundation's support for adaptive sports and fitness through its Quality of Life grants program. Since 2014, the program has awarded nearly 350 organizations more than $5.1 million to support adaptive sports and fitness projects.

“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,” said Peloton Instructor Logan Aldridge.

“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.”

The Seated Adaptive Strength Program and the Adaptive Training: Caregivers Spotlight collection are now available on the Peloton App, which offers new Members a free 30-day trial.

Members who complete a programme class will receive a custom badge on their profile. Aldridge and the Foundation will hold a virtual panel discussion in late November to discuss the collaboration, and will celebrate an in-class moment on December 3, 2022, in honour of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Aldridge's one-year anniversary at Peloton.

“Among the Foundation’s highest priorities is improving the lives of those living with or caring for someone living with paralysis. Despite widespread interest and participation in adaptive sports and fitness, the options for home-based programs are minimal and typically are not intended as truly inclusive – rather they are separate options for our community,” said Maggie Goldberg, CEO of the Reeve Foundation.

“We are proud to partner with Peloton and applaud the company for its genuine interest in creating content that acknowledges and includes the real-life experiences of people impacted by paralysis.”