Exercise For People Over Age 50

Power and Resistance require the use of plyometric movements and deceleration Exercises:
My initial advice is as follows: 

It is important to note that a recent study concluded that total muscle mass decreases by nearly 50 percent for people between the ages of 20 and 90. On average, people lose about 30 percent of their strength between ages 50 and 70, and another 30 percent of what's left per decade after that. Generally, people lose about 1 percent of their lean muscle mass per year after age 40.  BALANCE is a huge issue in the age group you are discussing.  Deceleration and exceleration exercises are excellent for building resistance and power as well as maintaining strong balance.   As I tell my  clients…."gravity is not your friend". Simple examples of exercises Aging Woman can engage in the will increase resistance and power but not simply gain muscle mass: Control your decent and rise using your CORE muscle groups with as much explosive energy as you can muster.


1.) Sitting down in a stable chair, such as a kitchen or wooden chair in as fluid and controlled manner as possible.  My coaching is you want your gluteus to touch the chair so lightly that you barely hear the sound of you coming into contact with the chair ( this is adding deceleration movement which is resistance related ) .  15 sets x 3

Next, rise with power using the CORE muscles, leading with the hips, gluteus and quads but also using the abdominals to stand strong and pull your shoulder blades together into perfect posture.

The rise should be as explosive as possible ( this is adding plyometric movement which is power related ) Hesitate in this strength position ( long enough to speak the word "strong" ).  repeat 15 sets x 3


2.) An excellent exercise for CORE legs and arms is a plank.  Beginning on feet and elbows the woman should simply hold a plank position.   As her strength and balance increases she can begin to lift on leg at a time for 15 repetitions on each leg .  This supports balance glutes and arm strength.  As she progresses further she can come up onto her hands and hold a full plank.   As she progresses from the full plank to the leg lift her balance and stability will be greatly challenge and improved.  In this scenario the leg lift is the explosive movement = power.   The plank is the resistance portion because gravity is opposing force and one is holding their body weight in opposition to the floor.   ( this exercise can begin with simply timing yourself to hold the plank for 30 seconds, to the leg lift to working on arms not elbows with the leg lift ).


3.) An inexpensive purchase is a large work-out blow up type of stability ball you can get them even at Walmart or Target.   They come in various diameters.   The client places the ball behind her back against a wall.    Pressing her back into the ball she is instructed to lower herself with control ( graceful deceleration ) into a squat position knees over ankles and as low as she is comfortable and then rise with explosive power engaging her abs, pushing the ball into the wall with her CORE and squeezing her gluteus.  Repeat 15 repetitions.


4.) Weighted soft balls are also available from increments of 1 up to 10 pounds.   I have my clients stand and pass with power these balls over head leaning left when the ball is in the left hand and leaning right when the ball is in the right hand.   This is a rib to hip movement and works arms as well as obliques.  It improves coordination, maintains muscle mass, involves exceleration - throwing the ball to your opposite hand as hard as you can, and deceleration catching and controlling the ball as you transfer it hand to hand and do a side standing scrunch.  Rib to hip.     This movement can also transfer to the waist level and again throw left to right and back.   ( repetitions should be 20 to keep the movement even x 3 sets )


5.)  If the woman has access to a gym, really any of the simple Cybex types of row machines, or chest press that control movement are also wonderful.  Just keep the weight light and focus more on control movement of movement.


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