How would you like to make your workouts even more effective, time-efficient, and specific to your midlife needs? Notice I did not say “harder” or “longer.” Are you with me?
You can create cutting edge, life-enhancing fitness programs that are low risk, yet high reward by taking into account any of 6 principles honed for the over 50 exerciser. Maintain function and expand, not shrink your capabilities as you age actively with smarter exercises.Boomers: want to make your workouts more effective, time-efficient, and specific to midlife needs Click To Tweet
We boomers — who range from 53-71 years old — want to enjoy the second half of life actively, comfortably, and energetically. Yet we have five to seven decades of accumulated aches and pains. Joint issues may limit your ability to do high impact activities. I know my arthritic knees definitely affect my movement choices.
Over the course of the next few weeks and blog posts, I will share 6 of 7 principles I’ve devised based on research, experience, and training that are particularly helpful to our age group. You are getting the professional insider advice from a cover feature article I just had published in IDEA Fitness Journal, the industry publication for fitness pros.
The 6 principles can be used in any combination or as standalones. Apply one, two, or all six to a given exercise; use three principles total in one session and a different three in another; focus on one principle one day and another the next. Regardless of how you mix and match the principles, you will reap the benefits.Over 50? Create cutting edge, life-enhancing fitness pgms that R low risk, high reward using specific principles Click To Tweet
Have years of sitting, driving — of living life in front of your body — produced forward head misalignment, rounded shoulders, hunched posture, overly stretched or a weak back?The “Activate Your Back” principle reminds us to prioritize actions behind us. Incorporate exercises that require glutes, hamstrings, any and all back muscles. Look for every opportunity to open or extend the pectorals (chest), anterior deltoids (front of shoulder), and hip flexors.
A focus on dorsal or backside moves counteracts prior decades of movement patterns that close off the front of the body. If you take cardio classes, think of this principle as a chance to give your heart and lungs more room to pump and breathe. Even if your teacher is cueing arm patterns in front of your body, try arm movements such as rows, hand to heel lifts behind the back, or any move than puts the arms behind you.
For strength, balance, or stretch classes, choose exercises with hip extension (open hip, leg reaching behind you) over ones promoting hip flexion (closed hip, leg in front of you). For instance, if doing balance work, have your lifted leg start and stay in hip extension. Then slightly raise and lower that leg using the glutes. Add in small loops, counter- and clockwise, all in the dorsal plane — that is, behind you. Or lift your leg only a few inches from the start position to the left and right, tapping lightly side to side, again always with hip extension. Not only do you use your core muscles to compress and stabilize to hold your upper body position, but also you reinforce good posture.
Any time you have a chance to open the front of your body and use the back, go for that choice! Time to put more behind us! Life metaphor, right?
For more on how you can pursue the best workout programs for yourself, check out these posts:
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Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
The problem is that most people do them wrong, then wonder why their backs or knees hurt. So Kymberly put on her booty boots, Alexandra put on her best “squint into the sun” face, and we decided to show you both the wrong and right way to do a squat. Come on now, do them with us! Even better, practice sideways to the mirror to check your form.
Well, are you and your now-perfect squat form ready for some boot-scootin’ boogie?
Photo credit: Creative Commons-Sanchom[plus1 count=”true” size=”standard”]
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Madame Sunday:
A: You want to look like the ladies above, but instead you are more like this:
First of all, for triceps, do this exercise,
To make it easy for you, Fun and Fit are only suggesting beginner exercises that require hand-held weights and/or your body weight. But we do recommend these weights for the triceps kickback (where’s our endorsement fee Centurions?):
Then do this exercise for shoulders, chest and triceps:
Glam people inspire jealousy so you have to accept that people will be talking behind your back. So make sure it’s a well-toned back.
And, finally we come to the core. Are you rotten to the core? If so, place your exercise mat on top of this:
so you can be carried around in true glam style while doing the side plank.
So, have you figured out that we are recommending a complete upper-body overhaul? No oil change or tire rotation required. When you have done all these exercises and are super hot glam fab toned shiny and sparkly, let us know so we can give you the biceps and latissimus dorsi exercises too! Ahahaaaaaaa. Get to Work Lady Person!
K: You set a high bar with your humor and fabulosity (you can pick whether I am referring to high barbells, highballs, or high people in bars). You would be well-served (and who doesn’t want to be well-served?) to add push-ups to your repertoire. Ideally you would do these suggested upper body and ab exercises (especially the push-ups) at least three times a week, 15-20 repetitions of each exercise with good form, to fatigue. Not collapse or dishevelment, but fatigue that looks like malaise or ennui or the vapors. You know, something Victorian ladylike.
Readers, lady persons and man persons: What around-the-house activities get you in shape? Which ones leave you less than glamorous and glowing?
Photo credits: Creative Commons (Rennett Stowe, Nan Palmero, Quinn.Anya, loosepunctuation) and Photobucket