Revisited: “Squat Seniors–Squat!”

It’s been a while since I’ve focused on one of the most important movements in exercise, so let me share some insights with you.

The basic foundation for mobility!

First, a few fundamentals to notice from the picture above:

There’s no weight on the bar. Form is critically important. If you can’t handle light weight with proper form, you will be a danger to yourself with excessive weight. In fact, for my in-home clients exercising to restore and maintain mobility, bodyweight only, done properly, produces excellent results. In these cases, however, it’s important to build up to the total movement little by little. From ankles to knees to hips; focusing on range of motion, strength and flexibility, the pieces of the puzzle come together. The older you are, the more significant this fact becomes. Increasing the weight is not the only way to increase the workload. A much safer way is to slow the tempo–do the movement slowly and evenly from start to finish for fifteen reps. Complete three sets each session (three times a week) and I guarantee you will experience significant gains in strength–safely. Also–and even more critcal –the slower pace and higher reps give tendons and ligaments a much better opportunity to respond. These tough connecting tissues require more time than muscle to respond to exercise. Tendon and ligament injuries are serious. Frequently I notice Seniors in the gym doing fast and jerking motions using machines and free weights…do not exercise that way!

Notice also in the picture that the legs and feet are angled away from the body center. Because of anatomical differences, preferences on stance will vary. You will find a particular width and angle that produces the minimum stress on your knees and hips. As you exercise more, you will become increasingly aware of this important feedback from your body. Pay attention and adjust accordingly.

For the beginner, the backwards movement of the hips as you descend is awkward. It takes repeated efforts to adjust your balance response. To make that effort safer, I recommend the kitchen sink. Actually…the front edge–which is generally easy to hold on to and about the correct height to be functional. You will soon become comfortable enough with your balance to squat safely and correctly without such aid.

This exercise, along with a consistent stretching regime, has me feeling great about my mobility!

To Your Health and Wellness,

Steven

Published by

Steven Siemons ACSM CPT, Simply Senior Fitness LLC

As a lifelong fitness enthusiast and armchair philosopher (BA in Social Science from UC Irvine), Steven communicates his passion for health and wellness with an offbeat slant. It's a lifestyle, he will insist, and fitness is really a journey to find what fits--for you. His personal fitness journey has primarily centered on resistance training for more than fifty years. An intense three-year exposure to Shotokan Karate under Sensei Ray Dalke and Sensei Edmond Otis in Southern California during his thirties (he is now 65, since you're wondering) had a significant impact on his appreciation for martial arts as fitness disciplines. It is his sincere hope that you will find insight, inspiration and knowledge from the ideas he sends your way. He is proud to be a contributing author to evox television where, along with others of different disciplines, the focus is on moving forward towards a positive future. Steven trains with clients who have already decided to take the first step in their fitness lifestyle, as well as seasoned fitness enthusiasts. With a personalized approach starting with your needs/risks/capabilities profile, the foundation is built for a lifetime of fitness; ultimately, 'fitness for the finer things' enabling you to enjoy your life to the fullest! If you are in the South Florida area and are interested in training, instruction, or personalized program implementation; simply email for further information. For vacationers and snowbirds, three-day and seven-day focused sessions are available with sufficient advanced reservations. Email: simplyseniorfitness@gmail.com

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