Sample Class: S.O.S. (Seniors on Strength)
Teach a class designed for the active older adult who simply wants to stay active.
Are you looking for a class that helps older-adult participants with balance, coordination, agility, flexibility and strength training? Seniors on Strength (S.O.S.) is a dynamic combination of strength development and cardiovascular conditioning for the active older adult. Mixing in some simple choreography blocks, sequenced for easy recall, will round out your class.
TOTAL TIME: 55–60 minutes
FORMAT: cardiovascular training mixed with strength, balance and coordination exercises
MUSIC: 128–132 beats per minute
EQUIPMENT: stability balls and resistance tubing with handles
Warm-Up (8–10 minutes)
Begin with dynamic-range-of-motion moves to increase blood flow, elevate heart rates and body core temperatures and prepare joints.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Plié, and lift stability ball to hips. Reach above head and lean right (R), lower ball in center, and roll shoulders back. Repeat L (keeping chest lifted). Repeat on both sides.
- Step-tap R, L (feet wide), and swing ball low, side to side.
- Step-tap, taking ball high R, low L (thigh), 4x.
- Pivot R, toe-heel, 4x, holding ball forward and in.
- With back heel on floor, sweep ball forward and pull in, 4x; squeeze shoulder blades toward spine.
- Lift and lower back heel (calf stretch), keeping ball close to thigh.
- Shift weight forward (on front foot) and hold; rock backward and forward; pivot to face front.
- Repeat moves 1 and 7, L lead.
- Perform easy lunge R, L, taking ball to floor.
Main Workout (35 minutes)
Strength: Standing With Ball
- From easy lunge, roll ball R, L, R, and hold; L, R, L, and hold; R, L, R, and hold; L, R, L, and hold; lift R heel, pivot L and hold.
- Lunge down and up (L), R hand on ball, 4x slowly, 7x tempo.
- Pivot center on counts 7–8, coming to plié position, both hands on ball.
- Plié 8x slowly.
- Repeat moves 1–2, L lead, pivot R.
- Repeat lunge combo; pivot to face front.
- Plié 4x slowly, to standing.
Cardio: Standing With Ball
- Step-touch R, L, R, L, travel forward (ball swings low, side to side); step-touch R, L, R, L, travel back (figure-eight with ball).
- Double step-touch R, L, R (make small circles); march out, out, in, in (press ball down and center).
- Rock-step forward and back, L, 2x; knee-lift hold; extend knee, and march L, R.
- Side-rock L, 4x.
- Repeat moves 1–4, L lead.
- Repeat R, L.
Strength: Seated With Tubing
Sit tall and slightly forward on ball.
- Biceps curl with tubing under feet. Double curl (palms up) slow, 8x; singles R, L, tempo, 8x; double 1 count up, 3 counts down, 8x; singles R, L, tempo, 8x (chest lifted, abdominals firm).
- Hip abduction—step out, in, R, 4x; L, 4x; R, 2x; L, 2x; alternate R, L, 8x; repeat (tubing under feet, cross hand-to-hand taut, hands on outer thighs). Knee remains over bridge of foot.
- Lawn mower pull (back row), 8x, each side, then descending reps (4x, 2x).
- Repeat move 2, L lead.
- Toe taps out and in, 8x (feet hip width apart); heel taps out and in, 8x.
- Uncross tubing, place handles at hips and stand (4 counts).
- Perform squats slowly, halfway down, up, 4x.
- Anchor tubing with L hand, grasp handle R and extend arm overhead for triceps extension, 8x (2 counts out, 2 counts in), 8x (tempo) and 8x (1 count out, 3 counts in).
- Place tubing about mid-upper back, choke up, palms down, arms just below shoulder, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Press forward and in for chest press; repeat.
- Repeat move 8, L lead.
- Hold tubing in front at shoulder level, palms down, elbows at 90 degrees. Adduct scapulae and pull elbows back.
Cardio: No Equipment
- Step-touch R, L, R, L, travel forward; step-touch R, L, R, L, travel back.
- Double step-touch R, L, R; march out, out, in, in.
- Rock-step front and back, L, 2x, knee-lift hold, extend, and march L, R.
- Side rock L, 4x.
- Step together, step-touch, 4x R, 4x L; 2x.
- Repeat moves 1–5, L lead.
Repeat entire sequence.
Strength: Seated/Supine With Ball
Sit tall, abdominals contracted, head in line with spine.
- Start seated with feet on floor, ball on knees. Inhale; exhale: roll back (form C shape), roll ball knee to thigh; inhale: hold; exhale: roll ball up to knees and ankles.
- Roll back to supine position, grasping thighs if needed.
- With arms at 45 degrees, palms facing down, place feet on ball, knees bent, hands on floor, palms down for stability.
- Lift hips (4 counts up, 4 counts down), knees bent.
- Place lower legs and heels on ball, knees slightly bent, hands behind head with fingers spread wide (do not grip or pull head).
- Curl up, rotate R, pull R knee forward to 90 degrees at hip and knee, keeping L leg on ball. Bring rib toward opposite hip. Switch sides, 8x.
Cool-Down/Stretch (approximately 5–10 minutes)
Hip and Glute Stretch
- Place calves and heels on ball (knees at 90 degrees), rotate legs R, center, L, center.
- Cross R ankle over L thigh, and roll ball in toward hips.
- Repeat above, then roll to side and to all-fours position.
Spinal Balance/Back Strength/Stretch
- From all fours, hands directly below shoulders and knees below hips,
extend R arm and L leg; hold 5–20 seconds. Switch sides.
- Perform yoga cat stretch.
Balance With Ball
- Plié down, up (ball is low, center, high, center; hold and circle ball R and abduct L leg; hold). Switch sides, and repeat.
Stretch Seated on Ball
- Sit forward on ball, extend R heel on floor, L hand on L thigh, press chest forward and reach R arm to shoulder level for hamstring stretch.
- Raise up, draw R foot in, cross over L, arms extended to shoulder level, rotate R (balance challenge). Return to center, feet wide.
- With feet wide, hands on thighs, press forward with flat back to inner-thigh stretch. Walk feet in.
- Switch sides.
- With feet hip width apart, hands on thighs, round lower back, and then elongate spine by lifting chest. Repeat.
Add additional stretches and relaxation if time allows.
- When getting down on floor from seated position, roll to side or lift one leg, hand under thigh, and roll back.
- When getting up from supine position, roll to side, coming to all fours, one hand on one thigh, and pull up; or grasp under knee at thigh, and roll up.
- In supine position do not lift both legs off floor at same time. Choreograph and cue to lift one leg at a time.
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