you have two factors in your question that are open to interpretation: the age of a ‘healthy senior’ and the size of your class.
I saw in your profile that you are certified as a personal trainer but are not a group exercise instructor; thus I assume that you really are doing personal training.
As you are NASM certified, you would do a certain degree of assessment and then tailor the program to the results. Exercises for ‘seniors’ do not necessarily need to be any different from that of other age groups given the same level of ability.The only things which I observed to be consistently different are the ability to generate power and exercises that require quickness and agility because it has often been many years since more mature participants have done that. (Which is not so assume that every younger adult is good at it.)
I hope this helps.
Instead of saying what is total body workout is best, I would use the guidelines for exercise programming for seniors to guide you.
As you know the body changes as we age and the principles related to exercise programming for the healthy older adult change as well.
I would recommend that you purchase the eighth edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription and allow that to give you some direction as far as designing a total body program for your clients.
One thing I’d like to add that it is important to know what the goals of your clients are. Are they health or fitness. Do they want to increase their ability to perform ADLs.
It’s difficult to say what is best when one doesn’t know the condition of the individuals.
I wish you all the best!
Normally you’d want a client to stay away from machines and keep them on barbells/dumbells to maximize the bang for your buck.
However, with seniors you have to take into account limitaitons in bone density, muscle strength and balance.
Keep them on machines that mimic compound lifts- presses will be their friend. Leg press, chest press, shoulder press, etc.
If they can stand, get them to do squats with a chair.
Hi Lisa. A lot depends on the senior(s) involved. Like any other age bracket, people classified as “seniors” come in all sizes, shapes, and fitness levels. Also, the program you use may (probably will) also depend upon the age of the seniors. It’s funny that as our population gets older, and as people live longer, our definition of “seniors” hasn’t necessarily kept up with those demographic changes. In some circles, anyone over 50 is considered a senior, so your program will/should reflect the age-range as well as fitness level of your group.
I hope that this helps.