I get this question often. What are the best strength exercises for older adults to do? This is a loaded question. Every person is different. Every older adult desires different goals for maximizing their lives. My answer is, well it depends…
This is probably not the answer most of you are looking for but it’s true. Let’s take some examples to clarify. There are two seniors that are hoping to improve their functional mobility. One has had a chronic low back condition that requires constant attention, and when this senior addresses this problem and takes action to mitigate symptoms they improve. The second senior wishes to find the best strength exercises for maximizing their function and they have had a chronic shoulder problem they’ve dealt with for some time. Due to the fact that seniors are dealing with different situations, strength training exercises for seniors should focus on each individual. As a physical therapist, I will provide different strength exercises to help them.
While studying for my Geriatric Certified Specialty with my occupation’s governing body the American Physical Therapy Association in 2011 I learned that adults begin to decline with most body systems at the age of 27. Yes, 27, I couldn’t believe it either. We as humans begin to lose bone integrity, muscle, and water in our spinal discs subjecting us to injury and overall less tolerance to our usual activities. Resistance training can actually help to reverse these effects. Standing gravity dependent exercises coupled with proper resistance training can reverse the ‘aging’ effects our bodies begin to succumb to in our late 20’s and early 30’s. The best resistance equipment can be as simple as inexpensive resistance bands which we sell and promote with all our senior strength training programs.
Senior Strength Training
Let’s take a deeper look at ‘strength’. Strength is a term that is used to describe the amount of force a particular muscle can produce. Increasing strength requires that muscle fiber size increases and thus allows the opportunity for this muscle or a set of muscle groups to be able to produce more force. In the medical field we use a term called ‘hypertrophy’. Hypertrophy means that muscle fiber size increases and thus more force is able to be accomplished. Physiologically, measurable muscle hypertrophy takes 6 to 8 weeks to occur. What does this mean for my advice for seniors to participate with ‘the best strength exercises for seniors’? It takes time and consistency.
Strength Building Exercises For Seniors
Muscle strengthening takes time and consistent strength training for you to build up your strength and improve your life. The Desire Wellness programs allow you to choose your area of the body to focus on and easily start you and guide you to strengthen the necessary regions to maximize your performance and mobility. Our customers don’t have to think or decide what’s best for them. We do all the work for you.
We will slowly and appropriately start you off with a tailored exercise regimen and progress you towards strengthening your body to be able to achieve all of your goals.
So my response to the question, “what are the best strengthening exercises for seniors”, my response is that it depends on the individual person. We have a program that is right for you. Our tracking system allows you to verify that you are progressing towards your goals. These tracking systems are used in most professional rehabilitation clinics, and used to verify progress to all insurance carriers. Every senior strength exercise program we offer will guide you to complete these free online questionnaires to objectively track your individual progress.
Here Are A Couple Of My Favorite Senior Strength Exercises For The Major Body Regions Offered In Our Physical Therapy Programs:
Dr. Marty Sanchez is a licensed Physical Therapist and owner of Desire Wellness where he, and his wife, Dr. Emily Sanchez have teamed up with other primary care providers to bring multiple resources for healing, improved vitality and mobility. Dr. Marty received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Azusa Pacific University in 2005. Follow Dr. Marty Sanchez on Facebook and LinkedIn