T Nation

Disability Bodyweight And Movement


After years of changing sports and changing goals, I've finally found my passion. I use to think there was only one way to live and that was to "lift", but changing my mind set and opening my eyes I know its not the case. I was born with a physical condition called "Cerebral Palsy", after thanking my mum over and over again forcing me to do stretches and exercises each day when I was younger, you can hardly tell. But that's not the point. After growing up I decided to peruse my passion for sport, halfway through school I knew what I wanted to be and now years later sitting in a gym writing this my dream has finally come true. Getting back to training now! I use to be a long distance runner for 6 years until giving this up to play badminton, not before trying hockey, golf and football. My greatest physical achievement to this day is completing a half marathon (in 1:47) and not looking back. For years I wanted to use my disability for something good, and not use it as an excuse to "quit" but I never knew what. This is how I got into playing badminton. I have now been playing just over 2 and a half years and represent England, I am on the Para Badminton England Squad. When I transitioned from running to badminton I thought I needed something else to occupy me and started going weight training. I did 4 times a week plus at that time 3 badminton sessions a week, until I burnt out. Ive finally opened my eyes and listened to my close friend and work colleague of living by the principle of "little and often". I now stretch daily, move daily and feel 100 times stronger than I did with the addition of training 9 hours a week and 5 times a week (on a good week). I have got into bodyweight training and starting with a simple exercise called "L-Sit" (its not so simple to do). My main focus now is to be able to do a pistol squat on both my affected and non affected leg. In the long run my ambition ( not dream) is to do a handstand (just putting it into perspective I cant even military press an Olympic bar) . Challenge accepted! Will keep you posted.

Mark :slight_smile:


Good luck man.......


You're an absolute stud! Go get it!


My biggest “movement/ stretching” session goes of at a weekend. I’ve been roped in to doing Jefferson Curls, for anyone who doesn’t know what this is check this link out on of what is one of my favorite websites to date (trying not to be to biased).

Ever since i burnout my body out physically and mentally Ive taken a much different approach, almost the opposite. Let me put this into perspective; i was in the mindset of “getting bigger ,stronger and more powerful”, all this whilst doing 3x2 hour badminton sessions at around 80% each week. Sometimes if not most training twice a day. I obviously hadn’t got my priorities right, but its not until you take a different view that you can change your approach. Now i do more badminton and haven’t picked a barbell up except to but it back where it should be in 6 months and i feel better for doing less. The key (for me) is stretching and movement. Let me give you an example of my session today

Hip Thrust 3x10 (with pause for 10 secs at top on some reps)
Arch Body Hold 3 sets of 30 sec
Hip Flexor Stretch (in total) 3 sets of 1 minute on each leg
Resistance Band Overhead Stretch (Not sure of correct name) 25 reps in total
Glute Stretch (on floor) one minute on each leg
Quad Stretch (layed on floor) 1 minute on each leg

This is what i call a “big sesh”, but im living by the moto of little and often. I suppose if something works keep doing it. But this doesn’t include foam rolling daily. I find myself doing more stretching and mobility because im forced to due to my disability, the less i do the tighter my affected side gets. Just to finish of im looking into more body weight exercises and want to learn the rings and more stretches such as pancake stretch. Good things come to those who WORK HARD. And that is another blog done for another week

Peace Out, Mark .


Today’s session included:

  • Inverted Row

  • Bulgarian Split Squats

  • Push Ups

  • Face Pulls

  • Kettlebell Swings

  • J CURL :smiley:

Since i have unexpectedly got more hours to train in a day i thought id put a bigger than normal session together and tbh i feel AMAZING! My hamstrings feel indestructible, my core aches, feeling stronger on my push up seen as my chest is the worst part of my body, and my quads feel strong from the split squats. Had a tough 5 hours badminton training working on technical defense and hard session tomorrow, so this was easy(ish). Hitting every muscle group i am suppose to whilst integrating stretching and body weight into it! Have to get your goals right. I said it in my first post. i tried doing a body building programme whilst playing badminton. When have you ever seen a Kai Greene type build play the fastest racket sport on the planet that you have to be able to gym 2-3 feet of the ground. Never because im guessing you’ve never seen any badminton players haha. But trust me, they dont exist!

Had to focus on reps for stretches today and past few days as my watch battery has died, sitting in a squat is challenging as i have to guess a minute if i cant find my phone. So i have been doing reps of sumo squats with a pause. Anyone wouldn’t have thought i have a muscular imbalance!

Peace out x