Healthy Athletes FUNfitness

This Healthy Athletes discipline provides free screenings to measure athletes' flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic fitness.

Two volunteers test an athlete

Flexibility. Two student volunteers test an athlete for flexibility, one of the most important aspects of overall fitness and the FUNfitness screening.

Welcome to FUNfitness, the fitness event developed in collaboration with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for Special Olympics (SOI) Healthy Athletes®. 

FUNfitness is a fitness screening event.  The goals of FUNfitness are to:

  • assess needs in flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic fitness;
  • teach exercises to help athletes improve identified areas of need;
  • educate participants, families and coaches about the importance of flexibility, strength, balance, and aerobic conditioning in overall fitness;
  • provide a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn how the physical therapist can help them with fitness.

Physical therapists assess

  •  flexibility of the hamstring, calf, shoulder rotator, and hip flexor muscles;
  • functional strength of the abdominal and upper and lower extremity muscles; balance (single leg stance and functional reach); and
  • aerobic fitness (Step test or Wheel test).

The screening also provides instruction to participants about how to stretch, strengthen and improve balance and fitness. Physical therapist assistants and physical therapist or physical therapist assistant students assist physical therapists in various aspects of the event.

Special Olympics conducts Train the Trainer sessions in various global regions so physical therapy professionals can learn to develop the event in their countries.

See the Healthy Athletes Resources page for more detailed information.