ife Isn’t Linear
Whatever age or stage you are in life, it is important to be able to use our bodies to function, perform daily tasks, take long walks in the park, for fun family activities, to perform hobbies, and to enjoy ourselves! We want to be able to sit down to a chair, get up off the ground, carry something from the car to the fridge, or even toss our grandkids up in the air!
Working out has become scary to a lot of people. Many elderly opt for weight machines because free weights are more intimidating, however there is a higher margin for error.
Additionally, life isn’t linear. It won’t always allow you to chest press or hamstring curl at a certain angle every single time (no knock on these devices, because they are helpful for people when used correctly!)
Life is varied! Grounds are uneven. Objects or children randomly decide that they’re gonna be in your way and you trip over them! Gotta be prepared for everything!
So, you say, what’s the best way to prepare for life’s unforeseen circumstances? The best way to prepare our bodies to fully function throughout our aging?
We need to move and train them in the same pathways that we want to physically express ourselves. How do football players get better at football? Play a TON of football and supplement their training with the weight room, agility/speed drills, etc.
We may be at different levels, but there are always ways to scale and learn new movements that will ultimately progress us towards greater capability and functionality!
This movement develops core and shoulder strength, coordination, balance, and aids in the ability to work the body through cross lateralization (that’s a big word for the brain working both sides of the body simultaneously) to achieve a task - sitting up!
Version #1, Weighted
By holding the broom overhead, not only is Bruce working the lower, supporting arm, but he is also working on overhead strength and stability. Not to mention, a bit of coordination.
Version #2, Un-weighted
No need to place a weight overhead, just use your arm! By keeping the arm up and overhead, it also helps maintain a good upper back position and strong posture.
Variant #3, Roll To Side Support
The first step is to use momentum to get to the side of the body where legs and shoulders can help if the core needs some strengthening or sitting up facing forward is too hard.
Do I even have to explain why this is important??!! To be able to get up and off of the ground, safely! Builds core, leg, and shoulder strength.
Version #1, Kneeling Burpee
Instead of jumping in and jumping out, kneel into a Lunge position to stand up . Many folks have tighter hamstrings, so this version allows you to stand up in a safer position on the low back.
Version #2, Kneeling Burpee with Support
Same rules as above, except you use a stool, chair, or some object to help balance and use the upper body to assist on the way up. You gotta start somewhere!
Why It’s Important: builds functionality sitting down to a chair, toilet, builds hip/back strength.
Version #1, Chair Squat
Using a chair as a marker, sit back and down to the stool, feel free to relax or stay on tension, then stand up. Watch the knees going too far forward and if the back is collapsing forward. Use a higher chair to make it easier, lower to make it more challenging.
Version #2, Pole Squat
Same rules as above, except use a broomstick in front to use the upper body to help stand up. Helps maintain better posture.
Fun fact: Bruce Wayne started with these types of Squats to a target that was MUCH higher than the stool in the video 😀 If he can do it, you can, too!