View Full Version : Advice for one-arm man

08-13-2007, 12:55 PM
This is a serious request for help. I have a man at my gym who wants to take my Spin class but he only has one arm. The other was amputated above the elbow. This man is a gym regular who golfs, walks, lifts what weights he can, and leads a normal life. I don't want to turn him away just because of his arm. What can I do to make his class experience safe? Modifacations? No standing movements? Can he take class?

08-13-2007, 12:57 PM
Fantastic!!! Let him join in the fun.

The only modification I see necessary is when adding or removing resistance during standing positions. You may want to ask him to sit down and change resistance to ensure he is in a safe position.

As long as he stays connected to the bike for other movements, he should do well.

08-13-2007, 01:31 PM
We recently had a triathlete come to class who had broken a collar bone. He modified by not going to HP3, and used standing HP2 very cautiously. As an experienced rider, he knew his limitations. Probably your client will, too. Perhaps he would be open to a one-on-one instruction time before class, and you could stess the safey issues and help him get set up on a bike. If he has adapted in other areas of his life, no doubt he'll be sucessful in Spinning, too.

08-13-2007, 02:22 PM
I rode outside with a gal who only had one arm, and she compensated just fine. I don't think there is anything you have to modify at all. Ask him if he wants you to give him ideas, he may be just fine on his own.

08-13-2007, 05:49 PM
I had a double compound fracture of my non-dominant arm and was in an external fixator. I was able to ride and led classes after I produced a Doctor's note giving me permission. Initially, I was hesitant to come out of the saddle, but after gaining confidence, it was easy. As Ralph states above, changing resistance while standing may be a challenge at first. Perhaps suggest the rider add resistance while seated initially. Once I got the hang of riding with one hand, I was able to modify resistance out of the saddle easily. I'm sure your rider will be able to do this also after a while.

I never received Doctor's permission to ride outdoors while the fixator was in my arm though.

08-14-2007, 10:02 AM
Thank you; I'll keep you posted.