Last Friday, I went over to the Lambertville Estate to put some of the residents through their first workout with me.
I’ll have to admit, it took me a minute to develop a plan for them, not because of a lack of knowledge, but because I have been mainly focused on training the 40-60 year old population as of late.
But here’s the thing, the human body is the human body, and it requires the same nourishment through physical movement.
How you can deliver that may change, as I will address, but it is essential, period, end of statement.
As we age as humans, a couple of things begin to happen that we need to address or those certain things will continue to progress.
We get short and tight in the muscles on the front of the body. So the areas such as your pecs, biceps, hip flexors, quads and abs will get tighter and tighter.
A big contributing factor in addition to the age is the idea that most people are sitting far too often, which will further shorten those areas.
I used to do a demonstration for my elementary school students when I was teaching in which I would theatrically shorten those muscles and then try to walk around.
I’d say, ‘What do I look like?’ And they would all yell in unison that I looked like an old person.
So, even if you aren’t of senior age yet, you can appear much older than you are by allowing this shortening to go on without any intervention.
The muscles on the back side, mainly the triceps, glutes and mid-back muscles will begin to shrink. These are your stabilizing muscles and power muscles.
That means that we need to train these areas with resistance of some sort, while stretching those front regions.
Okay, so we got the front and the back covered so far, next, we need to work on mobility.
The other day, I had the ladies go through joint by joint and perform some range of motion exercises. Your body is only as young as its joints. To keep a joint healthy, it needs to be soaked in synovial fluid, which only happens when we take a joint through a full range of motion.
And with mobility comes the need for stability. For us at the Lambertville Estate, that means using the back of a chair and working on single legged stances and such.
When your feeling of stability goes away, your level of fear and the feeling of lack of freedom will go up.
If you want to stay youthful and full of vitality, you need stability.
Lastly, something that I haven’t implemented yet, but soon will, is the need for grip strength training.
No, I don’t expect our seniors to be ripping a phonebook in half, but I do know how closely the hands are tied into the nervous system (ever see an anatomy chart? Check out all the nerve endings in the hands).
Working the hands stimulates the brain.
And there are plenty of studies now showing that the higher the level of grip strength, the lower the levels of mortality.
All I am going to start with are tennis balls and rubber bands (sorry, no sneak peaks)
I am super pumped to explore the world of strength training for seniors much more and I know there are a lot of people out there that are going to benefit from it.
Be Unconventional - Kyle Newell