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Non-Weight Bearing Exercises for a Morbidly Obese Person

by |
author image Aileene Palm
Aileene Palm is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and nutritionist with more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She holds a B.S. in zoology and a B.S. in physical education and exercise science, both from the University of Rhode Island. As an author and expert, Palm's work has appeared in "Swimmer" magazine, "Shape" and the Scrubs online magazine.
Non-Weight Bearing Exercises for a Morbidly Obese Person
Biking is a non-weight bearing exercise for the super morbidly obese. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

A super morbid obese person has a Body Mass Index or BMI of 50 or more, according to AtlantiCare. To put it in prospective, a 6-foot tall male weighing 400 lbs. has a BMI of 54. Super morbidly obese people need to be extra cautious about working out. The extra weight puts a lot of stress on the joints, particularly your hips, knees and ankles. There are many non-weight bearing exercises that do not stress those joints and can help in weight loss in obese individuals.

Stationary Bike

Biking is a non-weight bearing exercise because a seat is supporting your weight. There are two kinds of stationary bikes - upright and recumbent. The upright bike has you sitting on the seat with your legs and feet underneath the seat, whereas the recumbent bike has you sitting in a reclined position with your feet and legs out in front. Either one is effective for a super morbid obese individual. However, the recumbent bike tends to feel more comfortable on the back and buttocks.

Swimming

Any activity done in the water is non-weight bearing because the water makes you more buoyant. Swimming laps in a pool, pond or ocean can help in burning calories, along with many other health benefits. Obese individuals can mix it up by incorporating different strokes -- such as freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke, along with kicking with a kick board.

Arm Ergometer

An arm ergometer is a machine with an arm crank and works the upper body. An obese person sits on a seat in front of the arm ergometer and grasps the handles of the cranks and then uses arms to crank the machine. Workouts can incorporate playing around with the speed of the cranking or the resistance of the crank, along with cranking clock-wise or counter clock-wise.

Sit and Be Fit

Sit and Be Fit videos and classes have become popular, especially among the senior crowd. However, obese individuals can get the benefits of this seated workout. The workout consists of a variety of exercises from resistance training to core exercises, and is designed to improve balance and flexibility, while also building muscle strength.

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