17 Disability-Friendly Fitness Studios and Organizations in and Around Philly

From assisted horseback riding and rock climbing to yoga for Parkinson’s, here are 17 Philly-area athletic organizations offering adaptive fitness.

When it comes to adaptive fitness, the Philly area has a range of options. We’ve rounded up 17 of them, including Michael Cavacini’s DDP chair yoga for older adults. / Photograph by Stephanie Cavacini.

Muscle-building, mood-boosting, and overall feel-good exercise isn’t just for able-bodied folks. In fact, the Philly area offers a number of adaptive and assisted fitness and sports programs, so that people living with disabilities can pursue health and wellness. From marathon-training and kayaking to a variety of yoga classes, these 17 athletic organizations and studios in and around Philly help disabled and differently-abled folks stay active, motivated, and strong.

Note: Many YMCA branches in and around the city offer therapeutic swimming and adapted aquatics. Contact your local YMCA for more details.

Adaptive Yoga Philly

50th Street and Baltimore Avenue, West Philadelphia

Created by yoga instructor and occupational therapist, Rachel Dobkin, Adaptive Yoga Philly offers yoga instruction to meet a variety of needs. Their adaptive yoga is fully customizable for anyone in a wheelchair, has amputations, or experiences mobility difficulties. They also provide sensory-friendly yoga and yoga for caregivers, as well as prop-based sessions for older adults.

Ainsley’s Angels of America

Ainsley’s Angels is a national nonprofit that believes all individuals, especially those living with a disability, deserve to be included in running races. At all of their “Roll with the Wind” races, they pair able-bodied runners with individuals who wouldn’t be able to complete an endurance race without assistance. (Fun fact: the southeast PA ambassador for Ainsley’s Angels was our 2019 Health Hero!)


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All Riders Up

265 Mattson Road, Garnet Valley

Since 2009, All Riders Up has been providing horseback riding to individuals ages 4 through 74. Their equine-facilitated psychotherapy is meant to serve individuals living with all types of trauma, including veterans living with PTSD. Not only are they located on 12 acres of pasture in a fairly residential area — making riders and their families feel comfortable, relaxed, and right at home — but they’ve got a sensory trail and a hydraulic lift that transfers students from wheelchair to horse.

Athletes with Disabilities Network Northeast

608 Shearer Street, North Wales

This nonprofit’s mission is to promote a better quality of life for people with physical disabilities via sports. They host a bunch of athletic events throughout the year, including tennis clinics, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, adaptive cycling, archery, and powerlifting. Many of their board members are trained in rehab sciences, and some are para-athletes themselves.

Camden County NJ Miracle League

101 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

Founded by all-inclusive playground nonprofit Build Jake’s Place, the Camden County NJ Miracle League is a baseball program for children and adults living with physical and cognitive disabilities. Their major and minor leagues play on Saturday mornings in both the spring (8 weeks) and fall (6 weeks). All games are played at Boundless Field, a cushioned baseball field that accommodates wheelchairs and walking-assistance devices and provides a level-playing field for all players.


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Carousel House

4300 Avenue of the Republic, West Philadelphia

Sponsored by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Carousel House in West Fairmount Park is a year-round program offering recreational and educational services to Philadelphians living with disabilities. Their wide-range of fitness activities include swimming, dance, martial arts, nature walks, and weight lifting. Their weight room also houses wheelchair-accessible training equipment and their outdoor complex includes an accessible garden and fitness track.

Doylestown Rock Gym

3853 Old Easton Road, Doylestown

Doylestown Rock Gym provides multiple adaptive climbing options for anyone who needs it. Their “Flying Squirrel” allows climbers to be pulled into the air, resulting in a floating sensation, while their “Mini-Zip” lets the climber ride the zip on a seated apparatus to practice upright balance. They also own specialty adaptive climbing equipment for individuals with limited mobility in their extremities.

Magee Rehabilitation Center

Multiple locations

The mission of Magee Rehab at Jefferson Health is to provide high-quality cognitive and physical rehabilitation services. In addition to serving patients with orthopedic and brain injuries, amputations, and Multiple Sclerosis, Magee offers wheelchair tennis, basketball, racing, and rugby to keep people moving and active.


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Maha Yoga

1700 Sansom Street, 6th floor, Rittenhouse

Maha Yoga offers two specialized classes. Yoga for Parkinson’s is an adaptive, donation-based yoga class for anyone living with the disease, as well as their caretakers. Additionally, their Connected Warriors is a free, trauma-conscious class for veterans, active service members, first responders, and their families/support groups.

Penn Center House

1900 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Center City

On Sunday mornings at Penn Center House, Michael Cavacini, Philadelphia’s first certified DDP yoga instructor, teaches DDP chair yoga program designed specifically for seniors and those with limited mobility. The series of stretches and body-weight movements aim to help participants decrease pain, improve circulation, build strength, and increase flexibility.

Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports

4 Boathouse Row, Fairmount

Operating out of Boathouse Row, the PA Center for Adapted Sports (PCAS) currently has 13 year-round sports and wellness programs aimed to help individuals build and maintain strength, boost emotional health, and engage with community members. Whether you’re climbing, cycling, kayaking, skiing, or practicing yoga, PCAS provides all the equipment, training, and assistance needed to achieve your goals.

Philly Achilles

1601 Chestnut Street, Center City

Founded in 2012, Philly Achilles hosts free group runs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. out of the Cigna fitness center in Center City. These all-paces-friendly weekly runs are good for athletes and volunteers to get in some exercise, or train for the next marathon.


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Special Olympics Pennsylvania – Philadelphia

2900 Southampton Road, Northeast Philadelphia

The local chapter of PA’s Special Olympics, SOPA Philly provides year-round Olympic-like sports training and athletic competitions to children and adults living with intellectual disabilities. Their community-based programs feature swimming, gymnastics, bocce, bowling, soccer, and field hockey, among others. Every spring, SOPA Philly hosts a huge Olympic games competition for over 300 program athletes.

The Sporting Club at The Bellevue

224 South Broad Street, 8th floor, Center City

Parkinson’s Fit at The Sporting Club is a fitness training and support program for anyone living with the disease. “PWR!4Life” uses research-based integrated exercises to increase balance, flexibility, and posture, while “Rock Steady” offers boxing training builds muscular endurance and hand-eye coordination. All participants will be matched with for a class based on a personal assessment at the time of enrollment.

Team River Runner of Southeast Pennsylvania

Multiple locations

Team River Runner (TRR) provides active duty service members, veterans, injured military, first responders, and area residents living with disabilities to pursue health and healing through kayaking. The nonprofit has experience working with individuals living with PTSD, brain injury, amputation, spinal cord injuries, and sight impairment. All new participants complete a two-hour pool session to learn the basics of kayaking, and are joined by volunteer experts on the river for training. You can check their calendar for upcoming events.


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West Chester University

700 South High Street, West Chester

West Chester’s kinesiology department runs three adaptive fitness opportunities. Their Adapted Lifetime Fitness Program helps adults with cognitive disabilities build strength, endurance, and flexibility once per week. Their 10-week APA Wednesday Night Program focuses on adapted sport, physical education, and swimming, and serves individuals ages five through 21. Finally, the department hosts a three-day para-sports camp over Memorial Day Weekend for school-age children living with visual impairments.

Yoga Home

424 East Elm Street, Conshohocken

Yoga Home’s adaptive yoga is owner Kerri Hanlon’s homage to her late son, Sean, who had cerebral palsy. In these classes, yogis — whether seated, standing, or lying on the floor — use blocks, blankets, chairs, and the wall to adapt postures to their liking. The studio also hosts gentle chair yoga, yoga for caregivers, and yoga for kids on the spectrum.

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