Fitness programs are not a one size fits all, especially when it come to exercise for older adults
No matter what name gets slapped on training programs, one thing remains the same (in my humble opinion): Fitness is NOT a one size fits all. Fitness is not a program. Fitness is a dynamic thing that changes over time depending upon a number of different, interconnected variables.
So then - what are we supposed to do to be fit?
This is a question that we get a lot. And as you might have guessed at this point… my answer is going to be dependent completely on the person I am talking to - and even more specific to the moment in which I’m talking to them. In other words, I don’t assume that what you needed two weeks ago is what you and your body need today.
To my future clients who are more “seasoned”:
I would strongly suggest looking into isometric exercise. If your goal is to feel better, lose fat, and/or lessen the amount of inflammation in your body, the “cost-to-benefit" ratio in favor of the benefits! (This means that there can be many benefits and typically fewer downsides.) Find someone that understands isometric exercise, and works with individuals with similar body structure and condition as yours, and go to town! If you are not in Tampa or Odessa, Florida, do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Fitness-Tek. We will point you in the correct direction to find someone great.
If you are in the Tampa Bay area, you, my new friend, are in luck! You can reach me directly on the webpage messenger app at any time! (Or email / call, too.) Send me any questions, concerns or inquires you might have!
Now back to the science on why isometric exercises are the way to go. The reason is quite simple in concept: the less you move the joints, the less friction that gets caused between the joint surface. The less friction you have, the less wear and tear on the joint, the less likely you are to hurt yourself and/or exacerbate any preexisting condition that could derail your workouts.
Your joints and muscle strength are two things that impact you living a long pain free and active life. Allow these to become compromised by general wear and tear of life (or an ill-informed personal trainer) and you guessed it, life gets very boring and uncomfortable.
If you are new to exercise, I want to put your mind at ease a bit. With isometrics exercise, it is much harder to do it “wrong" when trying to figure it out on your own. That is another reason why isometrics are the only type of exercise I will prescribe online to clients. If you don’t have a program you will be following, I suggest you start by simply connecting with your muscles.
What do I mean? SQUEEZE THEM!! Get connected with as many muscles in your body that you can and squeeze each one. Explore all the positions you can move into, and squeeze your muscles in each of those. Have fun with it! Stand in front of a mirror and watch as you move and contract muscles. There is often a level of de-conditioning that has taken place, and once you reconnect with these movements, your strength will return rather quickly.
The second reason why I really really love this approach to working out is because you can do it everyday! The amount of inflammation that gets created with this form of exercise is usually so low you can easily do the workout everyday without creating elevated inflammation = damages and soreness.
Here is where I would start if I were in your gym shorts… [READ BELOW FOR SOME REAL ISOMETRIC EXERCISES TO DO AT HOME]
EXERCISE #1: Standing in front of the mirror, straighten your legs and tighten your knees as tight as you can. Put all your focus and energy into contracting the upper portion of the leg.
[Do NOT push through any knee or hip pain! These are indicators of a bigger potentially more damaging problem. If you experience pain, STOP. Connect with me, your friendly Master Level Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist in Tampa to get things firing and alleviate that pain.]
Now if you are squeezing and feeling good, then squeeze those leg muscles like it is your one job in life. Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times.
EXERCISE #2: Same position, standing still with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push as if you are going to push out with your feet, but keep your feet planted. You will feel your side butt muscles contract. Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times. And don’t ever push through pain.
EXERCISE #3: Same position standing still with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now squeeze your butt cheeks - the tighter, the better! Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times. And don’t ever push through pain.
EXERCISE #4: Last one in this position - I want you to squeeze your legs inward towards each other! Really tighten up those inner things! Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times. And don’t ever push through pain.
Now onto your guns. Let's start with your biceps.
EXERCISE #5: Bend the elbow as if you are trying to crack a nut in your elbow pit like a giant nut cracker. Squeeze those guns! Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times. And don’t ever push through pain.
EXERCISE #6: Straighten your arms, pull your shoulders back and tighten the muscle in the back of your upper arm, aka the triceps. Squeeze those as hard as you can!! Hold that for 15 seconds, then rest. Do that 10 times. And don’t ever push through pain.
You should be getting the idea by now, if not I am here to answer any questions you might have. Now you can do those exercises everyday! If you did that for a month, you would notice a BIG difference in your ease of movement.
I know we went over a lot today, but please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions. I will be showing how to do these exercises in my Facebook LIVE video about this blog if you are more of a visual person.
Here at Fitness-Tek personal training studios, we are committed to your success in health and wellness!
Make it a great day!