Older and wiser, or is it older and creakier?
There is a huge part of me that refuses to except that I will be 50 in a few years, when I still mentally feel as good as I did when I was in my 20’s. Yet our body tells a different story. I never remembered getting creaky and aching joints, yet these seem to be everyday occurrences for most over 40’s.
What does this mean when it comes to planning my workouts?
For me there are 5 things I look for in an intelligent workout that is going to kick my butt and make me feel invigorated!
- Exercises that use multiple muscle groups, sometimes called compound, which result in being more efficient with time and the number of reps I need to perform.
- Multiple planes of motion and resisting of forces, anything that has me moving in lots of different directions with differing speeds and resistance, you know, just like we do in real life.
- Exercises that promote both strength and power, two things that start to diminish as we age. Also building lean muscle helps keep that metabolism in check.
- Joint friendly exercises that do not put excessive strain on my lower back, knees or shoulders, as some traditional strength programs.
- Using unilateral, single limb exercises to improve balance and stability, we all need to challenge stability.
Wondering how this looks in a practical sense of the word – well here is a workout that I gave my small group training class the other day, that fit perfectly into this demographic and they loved it. You work at your own pace, but with the aim to get as many good, clean, well executed reps as you can. There is no point doing volumes of exercises with crappy form.
40 is the New 25 Workout!
- Do all the following exercises 10 reps each.
- Set the timer at 30 mins
- Do as many good quality rounds as possible.
USB Overhead Squat
Use the snatch handles or the outside handles of the bag. Place the bag so that it is over the crown of the head, and drive handles apart so that you engage through your lats to support that weight overhead. Such a great way to get extension through the upper back which often feels really tight.
Pro tip: If this is just too difficult to do, try elevating your ankles by standing on a rolled up yoga mat.
Stabilising our body is more important than ever at this age, so taking your regular plank to a pledge plank is a great way to kick in those stabilising muscles. Working with the chains of our body, drive down opposite hand and foot, actively engage your core and glutes and feel the power of the cross-pattern chain work.
Pro tip: Make both the stabilising hand and the foot part of the exercise. By actively pushing them down into the floor you should feel the limbs create tension which will help this exercise be more successful.
USB Lateral Lunge to Balance Step
So now we have a lateral movement and a challenge to our stability – double whammy, then using the bag in the shouldering position we add extra resistance to the movement. So we are certainly checking off some of my requirements above,
Pro Tip: Actively drive the supporting foot into the floor to create lightness in your step to bring you back up to the balance step position. At this stage the supporting foot is also engage to help with stability.
Tall Kneeling Arch Push Out
Do you have weak hamstrings?
Do you have tight hip flexors?
Do you have lower back pain?
Do you have tight traps?
Do you have sore shoulders?
This exercise is the perfect one to identify issues, correct then and then strengthen. I love it!!
Pro Tip: Turn the toes under and drive them into the floor. This will help engage the hamstrings and glutes (which you should be engaging throughout the exercise)
Slider Lateral Lunge
The slider creates an extra challenge as you still recruit glutes and quads, but now your inner thighs join the game.
Pro Tip: if you don’t have sliders, use towels on a hard floor or paper plates on a carpeted floor.
Close Grip Push-up (Tricep Push-up)
I like to do a variety of push-ups in my workouts, and occasionally will include this in my sessions as it has all the benefits of a traditional push-up but with more emphasis on the triceps.
Pro-tip: when doing any push-up think about the movement as a moving plank. Your body stays in a lock-out position just like the plank and the bottom and top of the movement.
The DVRT system is so sophisticated in the way it both delivers movement exercises and uses evidence based outcomes to drive the program. Are you interested in learning more? This is a great certification to deepen your knowledge and improve your coaching skills. I am heading to Green Bay, WI on March 5th to help deliver DVRT Level 1, and if you register now you can save $100 off cost. You will hear me say that this is one of the best value for cost versus content certification out there. So what are you waiting for!?