Muscular Dystrophy

Range of Motion offers Exercise Physiologist designed one-on-one exercise sessions for individuals with this condition. Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Based on guidelines provided by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Condition Overview:

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a hereditary disorder of the skeletal muscle structure characterised by destruction of muscle cells and their replacement with connective tissue. This leads to a loss of strength and functional capacity.

Short Term Response to Exercise:

In the early stages of the disease, muscular strength levels are not usually below the average. As muscle strength reduces, the loss of functional ability follows. Although cardiorespiratory capacity is not affected, loss of efficiency in movement (caused by strength loss) can increase the energy cost of exercise.

Long Term Response to Exercise:

There is no evidence to show that strength training causes an increase in strength loss. The most success is gained from exercise in early stages of the condition, where the strength loss is only mild to moderate. In these cases, significant improvements in strength and therefore movement quality can be experienced.

Condition Management:

With no current cure for this condition, exercise remains one of the main modes of treatment. Flexibility training, strength training and cardiovascular training are all major treatment methodologies. Surgery is occasionally used for the prevention of contractures (shortening of muscles). 

Range of Motion’s Treatment Methodologies:

Range of Motion designs specific exercise programs unique to the individual based on The Range of Motion Model of Health. Modifications to this basic framework are made based on the specific recommendations outlined below.


  • 3 days / week.
  • Shorter duration sessions.


  • 3 days / week.
  • Single sets of moderate reps.
  • 40% 1RM.


  • Complete daily.
  • Not to point of discomfort.
Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

Tarnopolsky, M. A., (2003). Muscular Dystrophy. In: Durstine, J. L., Moore, G. E. (2003), ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities 2nd Ed. (pp 76-80) American College of Sports Medicine, Human Kinetics.