Many men struggle with inflexibility and diminished joint range of motion, especially as they age. Hip tightness, for example, can hinder athletic performance and possibly lead to various injuries. Unfortunately, stretching often takes a back seat to cardiovascular and strength training.
Exercise guidelines call for people with osteoporosis to avoid flexing or twisting the spine (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015). This makes training the core a little more challenging. Planks (side and prone) and bridges are both great options, but they can get boring. The exercises below safely target the core without spinal flexion or twisting.
Stand sideways to wall, hands centered on stability ball. Arms are straight, at shoulder level. Press hands into ball, and tap each foot back (alternate).
New beginnings. When Patty Shoaf first met Barbara 19 years ago,
she realized quickly that this would be a client like no other. “I
arrived for a consult at her house and a classy, high-heeled,
67-year-old woman wearing a skirt walked in,” Shoaf recalls.
Not everyone likes to focus on eccentric contractions, but this style of training deserves more attention because it may be a “secret weapon” for creating healthier joints and a long, lean body. Research reveals the perks for newcomers and well-trained athletes.
Did you know it’s important to take care of the fascia—or connective tissue—in your body? The health of connective tissue is a serious concern for older people, as movement restrictions can make it hard for them to perform simple activities of daily living. The condition of our connective tissue depends on two factors—how old we are and what we have done in our lives to keep our tissue healthy, hydrated and flexible.
While much of the population is physically able to meet the accepted exercise recommendations for improving health, many people are not. Research from the University Institute on Aging, at the University of Florida, Gainesville, indicates that even modest amounts of activity can prove beneficial for those with physical limitations.
In today’s complicated world, just listening to the evening news on television or radio can raise cortisol rates in the body. High stress levels, combined with current technological advancements, almost unending sensorial bombardment, and the ever-changing dietary habits of many developed countries, can deny the body time for repose and resynthesis.
Starting with the basics. Personal trainer Jamal Younis first met 38-year-old Jessica in August 2014. Jessica, a former competitive collegiate swimmer, suffered from a degenerative disk disease, which had resulted in three surgeries to address the issue. Post physical therapy, she decided that in order to keep her back healthy she’d need to continue with a structured training program. She met Younis through a friend of his who was also a personal trainer.
Fitness professionals strive to help clients enhance their health and reduce the risk of injury; however, they may be missing a large piece of the training puzzle if they aren’t addressing a client’s work-related training needs.
It appears there is a growing need for seniors to engage in fall prevention. A recent report found a significant increase in falls from 1998 to 2010.
Researchers looked at data from the Health and Retirement Study, which is an interview-based report. Among individuals aged 65 and older, the percentage who had experienced at least one fall in the 2 years prior to the interview rose from 28.2% to 36.3%—a relative increase of close to 30%. The researchers were surprised to learn that the increase was most marked among the younger people studied (those closer to 65).
The market for older seniors (70 and over) is growing thanks to the aging of the Baby Boomers. By 2050, 1 in 5 Americans (21%) will be 85 or older— up from roughly 14% in 2010 (Vincent & Velkoff 2010).
We asked trainers the question: “What Is The Most Effective Posture Tip You Give Clients?” Here is a sampling of the answers we received.
A client who develops overtraining syndrome needs to return to a healthy state as fast as possible. While there is no magic cure for overtraining, these 10 preventive strategies for nonfunctional overreaching and overtraining syndrome, from Kreher and Schwartz (2012), should prove helpful:
Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thoracic spine (Kendall, McCreary & Provance 2005). ETK is an extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance brought on by prolonged time in some postural positions; exercise and/or activity choices; environmental factors; myofascial dysfunction; intolerances to food and/or other allergic reactions; and psychological stress.
This is the tip I give clients: Picture a string pulling your head up toward the ceiling. This helps to create space between the vertebrae; when you relax, the spinal segments can then realign.
My favorite way to teach proper pos- ture is to have people close their eyes and slowly tip their spine forward and back and side to side to find their true “good posture.”
Everyone’s spine is slightly different, and mirrors can only get us so far. Real posture is found within each person through body awareness.
A recent special edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology focused on eccentric training, best defined as using active force to produce muscle tension while the muscle is lengthening.
Fitness professionals strive to help clients enhance their health and reduce the risk of injury; however, they may be missing a large piece of the training puzzle if they aren’t addressing a client’s work-related training needs. While most clients may not be professional athletes, they are in fact “occupational ath- letes,” meaning they spend 40 or more hours a week on the job.
Fitness professionals may work in concert with a physical therapist to encourage a client to engage in “prehab” to maintain or enhance his strength preoperatively for knee or hip arthroplasty. (Shakoor et al. 2010). Pain is often a limiting factor, and it may be difficult for the client to participate in even the most basic daily activities. Below are a few suggested exercises.
Isometric quadriceps sets. Lie on back with legs extended. Tighten quads and push knee into mat/surface. Hold 10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions, 5 times per day.
Several weeks ago, a fellow instructor who has more experience than I do “called me out” on my dead lifts. She said that as she walked by the studio during my Les Mills BODYPUMP™ class, she noticed my questionable form. Her suggestion (after asking me first if she could share): Keep my knees slightly bent instead of maintaining straight legs.
Mr. Brown is a 68-year-old retired postal worker who stays active with golf and tennis, but he complains of severe pain and swelling in his left knee, which he cannot straighten completely. The pain limits his ability to do the things he loves, but he is otherwise comfortable during daily activities. Based on X-rays and a clinical exam, Mr. Brown has symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.