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

“Squat, Seniors… Squat!”

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Interested in continued mobility? Would you like to improve your odds of surviving an increasingly likely fall?

Let me make my case for you regarding the overwhelming importance of strengthening your hips.

And as you can see from the title, the best exercise to make sure your Senior years are safer is the squat.

All the following statements in bold print are quotes from the CDC website:

In 2010, there were 258,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures among people aged 65 and older.

More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, most often by falling sideways onto the hip.

One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.

One in three adults who lived independently before their hip fracture remains in a nursing home for at least a year after their injury.

In both men and women, hip fracture rates increase exponentially with age.

People 85 and older are 10 to 15 times more likely to sustain hip fractures than are those aged 60 to 65.

To help prevent falls, older adults can:
Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, AND THAT THEY GET MORE CHALLENGING OVER TIME.

The emphasis in the last point is mine, not in the original.

Here’s its importance: bones become denser in response to increasing stress loads, and lose density if not stressed. There’s no middle ground here; even the best drugs for treating Osteoporosis cannot do what weight bearing exercise can do.

Click on this YouTube link to see how it’s done:
How to do a Perfect Squat: http://youtu.be/zaC133_Frj0

Don’t waste another minute. Get it done!

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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