Adaptive Training Course | Movement Rx

Adaptive Training Course

Become the Provider Who Can CONFIDENTLY Work With ANYONE That Walks or Rolls Into the Facility

The Movement Rx Adaptive Training Course provides you all the tools you need to get the best results possible for the adaptive athletes in your community.

The Adaptive Training Course from Movement Rx

The Movement Rx Adaptive Training Course will give you the confidence and tools to build a specialty in working with Adaptive athletes. The first half of this 16 module on demand course focuses on providing health and fitness professionals the confidence to speak to, treat, and train Adaptive Athletes. The second half of the course will teach you to challenge, progress and optimize the human performance of these athletes.

In other words, to guide you and help you feel confident in treating or training adaptive clients to the levels you would treat or train any other active, hard-charging human.

Why learn from us?

Since 2014 the physical therapy and coaching team at Movement Rx has led specialized functional fitness classes for Adaptive Athletes. Participants include veterans, active duty personnel, and civilians alike. Their adaptations are both visible (missing limbs, wheelchair, etc) and invisible (traumatic brain injuries (TBI), PTSD, etc).

Over the years we received hundreds of requests from therapy, fitness and coaching professionals who were inspired to work with this population but did not know how to get started. In addition, many adaptive sports coaches lack the training to effectively integrate strength & conditioning as well as proper recovery tactics with their teams during the season and in the off season. Unfortunately, there is a general lack of confidence in speaking with, programming for and coaching individuals with permanent impairments. As a result, the population that needs the most help gets the least help.

Adaptive Strength Class

So we went back to the lab and compiled our most valuable takeaways from 10+ years of training and assessing adaptive athletes. We worked with university researchers to review our data, interviewed dozens of practitioners, coaches and athletes to stress test our ideas, and FINALLY designed the Adaptive Training Course that WE would have wanted to enroll in.

Please learn more about the Adaptive Training Course below.

Course Objectives

Adaptive Strength Class

The Movement Rx Adaptive Training Course is a 16 week online course. In this course health professionals, coaches and trainers (HCTs) of adaptive athletes will be trained on adaptation-specific strength & conditioning methodologies as follows:

  • Help improve HCT confidence so you CAN integrate strength & conditioning into your athletes’ training for their sport outside of the rehabilitation environment.
  • Help HCTs identify what optimal normal movement looks like so you can better identify abnormal movement during practice and competition.
  • Learn movement principles of the spine, major joints, and execution of primal movements (squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, carrying) so you can help your athletes be successful in mitigating musculoskeletal injuries and improving their performance in daily life and in their sport of choice.
  • Understand basic functional human movement as it applies to major permanent physical impairments.
  • How to safely and effectively adapt common training movements to all these major impairments.
  • Attendees will develop a basic understanding of the physiology of training and special considerations for the adaptive athlete.
  • Attendees will have the knowledge to integrate strength & conditioning principles into their clients’ training along the rehabilitation continuum.
  • Attendees will learn goal setting, proper progressions when programming. And athlete injury assessment.
  • Attendees will learn how proper movement techniques can help their clients mitigate risk of musculoskeletal injuries and improve their performance in ADLs or sport.
  • Attendees will learn the fundamental strategies to adapt movements for all major movement and mobility impairments across primary disability categories.
  • Attendees will learn the most common medical devices used for adaptations and which devices are best with what sport or movements.
  • Attendees will have a basic understanding of recovery techniques to use in the various adaptive populations.

The Adaptive Training Course Description

Having mentored coaches of all types on working with adaptive athletes, we have designed this course to answer all the most common questions:

  • How do I talk to the disabled population?
  • How do I create programming for or adapt my programming to the impaired population?
  • What are the most common types of impairments?
  • What are the most common types of medical equipment?
  • How do I adapt movement X, to an athlete with condition Y?
  • How do I assess an adaptive athlete who is ambulatory and how do I assess an adaptive athlete who is not ambulatory?
  • How do I provide an adaptive athlete with methods to help fix their current movement impairments?

To answer these questions, we will start with a high-level discussion of function and drill down all the way to adapting specific movements. The course will start with a general introduction to functional movement as a concept. We will then explore what differentiates normal vs. abnormal movement. With the general foundation of normal movement in hand, we will then focus on the adaptive population in particular. First by understanding how to talk with and coach an impaired athlete, then secondly how to think about programming for that athlete. Once these general techniques are understood, we will next take a deep dive into the four major impairment categories: Lower Limb, Upper Limb, Wheeled, Traumatic Brain Injury/Invisible Wounds. We will finish by spending the remainder of the course detailing how each of the 7 major functional movements interact with each of these impairments.

The 16 Course Modules

The course consists of 16 progressive modules. Each module is a one-hour video broken into lecture and demonstrations with adaptive athletes.

In addition to the 16 modules there are also 5 Office Hour sessions with the instructors and adaptive athletes.

First Half of Course

  • Kickoff with the Course Instructors
  • Week 1/Module 1: Common Terms + Trauma and Wounds 101 - Understand common terms used and the major injuries that could walk, limp, roll through your doors.
  • Week 2/Module 2: Movement 101 Principles & Panel - how to breathe, protect your spine, stabilize the extremities, and create a core to extremity movement contraction.
  • Week 3/Module 3: Primal Functional Movements (PFM) - what are they and how do the movement principles apply to these.
  • First Office Hours Session
  • Week 4/Module 4: Unweighted Adaptation to PFM – Wheelchair- Best practices on how to perform the primal movements unloaded if your client is in a wheelchair.
  • Week 5/Module 5: Unweighted Adaptations to PFM - Lower Extremity - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements unloaded if your client has a missing or salvaged lower limb.
  • Week 6/Module 6: Unweighted Adaptations to PFM - Upper Extremity- Best practices on how to perform the primal movements unloaded if your client has a missing or salvaged upper limb.
  • Week 7/Module 7: Unweighted Adaptations to PFM - Invisible - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements unloaded if your client has an invisible wound aka one you cannot see.
  • Midterm Office Hours
  • Week 8/Module 8: How to Assess Your Adaptive Athlete – How to more easily understand where your adaptive athlete needs to focus on their mobility and capacity to keep their body as balanced and healthy as possible.
  • Mid-Term: Multiple Choice Exam. This applies to students or to those who are taking the course for CEUs.

Second Half of Course

  • Week 9/Module 9: Foundations of Fitness – Fitness Domains, Energy Systems, Factors of Intensity, Training Phases, Programming Principle.
  • Week 10/Module 10: The Whole Athlete + Advanced Lifting Techniques (ALT) - SMART Goals, Mental Preparation, Lifting Experience.
  • Week 11/Module 11: Movement Principles Review, Training Considerations, Techniques.
  • Third Office Hours Session
  • Week 12/Module 12: Adapted ALT for Wheelchair - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements loaded if your client is in a wheelchair because of different levels of spinal cord injury, disease, amputation (s), traumatic brain injury, or salvaged limb(s).
  • Week 13/Module 13: Adapted ALT for Lower Extremity - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements loaded if your client has an amputated or salvaged lower limb.
  • Week 14/Module 14: Adapted ALT for Upper Extremity - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements loaded if your client has an amputated or salvaged upper limb.
  • Week 15/Module 15: Adapted ALT for Invisible Wounds - Best practices on how to perform the primal movements loaded if your client has an invisible wound aka one you cannot see.
  • Final Office Hours Session
  • Week 16/Module 16: Common Injuries and Recovery Techniques - What are the most common musculoskeletal injuries that each permanent injury has a higher risk for and how best to prevent those injuries with specific recovery techniques.
  • Final Test: Multiple Choice Exam. This applies to students or to those who are taking the course for CEUs.

About the Instructors

Dr. Theresa Larson


Dr. Theresa Larson, DPT, SFMA, CSCS has over 10 years of 1-on-1 and small group sports performance rehabilitation and training with adaptive athletes, and created the Movement Rx Adaptive Athlete program and courses. Additionally, she has taught over 50 day-long seminars – reaching 1,500 professionals – on improving movement and mobility to non-adaptive athletes and coaches. She has served as a physical therapy and human performance consultant to multiple organizations including TRX, a global shoe and fitness brand, the US Veterans Health Administration, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Adaptive Performance Systems, Team RWB, and Balboa Naval Hospital’s wheelchair basketball program.

Dr. Megan Graff


Dr. Megan Graff, DPT, CSCS, OCS, FAAOMPT has 12 years of experience in working with individuals with disabilities. As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, she has provided courses of care for several dozen individuals with disabilities in the last five years. She has served as a Coach for the Adaptive Strength Class since 2017 and spent three years volunteering with an equine therapy center that focused on riders with disabilities. She has also led over 70 movement health workshops as a lead instructor.

Adaptive Training Course Pricing


Become the Coach or Therapist Who Can CONFIDENTLY Work With ANYONE That Walks or Rolls Into the Facility. Register for the Course here.

This course qualifies as units or CEUs for a variety of eligible organizations. Additionally, if you are licensed in a state that offers reciprocity for courses approved by another state board, you can apply the 15 contact hours.

  • Kansas State University: 2.0 Units
  • California Physical Therapy Association (CPTA): 1.5 CEUs
  • National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA): The NSCA approved 1.3 CEUs in category C for certified individuals that successfully complete this course.
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM): Movement Rx is recognized by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as an Approved Continuing Education Provider (1.5 NASM CEUs)
  • National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) 1.5 CEUs

Register for the Course here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Course For?

The Course is appropriate for professionals who want to improve their confidence and impact with adaptive individuals.

If you are interested in helping athletes with more than just their fitness; better understand recovery, how to assess and how to work with an athletes' other health and fitness professionals, then this is for you.

What does the Course Fee include?

The course fee includes a Course Manual, access to the 16 modules, and a Certificate of Completion with the relevant information required to successfully submit for continuing education credit. You'll also get a spoonful of inspiration for working with this amazing population!

BONUS!! You will also get access to four live Office Hours with the Course Instructors.

What is the deadline to complete the modules?

If you are a student, follow your school's schedule. Otherwise you may complete the modules at any time. However, the Office Hour sessions will be centered around the previous 4 modules. To get the most out of those live sessions we encourage you to complete a module each week.

Will instructors share their clinical experiences working with adaptive athletes?

Yes. Participants will learn how our team evaluates an individual’s movements to uncover the root cause of dysfunctions, as well as how we adapt programming to help individuals recover faster and avoid pain/injury altogether.

How should I prepare for the Movement Rx Adaptive Training Course?

  • There is no pre-requisite learning or preparation required. We suggest you go through the modules in a quiet and comfortable place to sit that also has room to move around during any demonstrations.
  • Come to any Office Hours prepared with a set of questions you'd like to get answered.

What kind of experience do the instructors have with adaptive athletes?

  • The Course Instructors have over 20 years combined experience as physical therapists working with those in wheelchairs, missing or salvage upper extremities, missing or salvage lower extremities, TBIs and other invisible permanent wounds.
  • They have also taught this course in person to over 1,500 health and fitness professionals, have coached over 150 adaptive athletes, and have oversee an Adaptive Strength program since 2014.

Do the instructors have experience in determining how pathology affects function?

  • The Course Instructors have assessed and adapted movements for hundreds of adaptive athletes. In this Course they apply the concepts they have learned and refined so that you can hit the ground running.

Upcoming Courses

Interested in more Adaptive Training education? Enter your email address to be notified about upcoming courses.

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