Yes, it’s a topic that is currently trending due to a Reader’s Digest article that was falsely attributed to the Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurological Associates (Facebook- CONA statement).
To be fair, the actual article produced by Reader’s Digest is a list of exercises people over 50 should modify. Most of the recommendations are geared towards helping a person from a sedentary background move towards a healthier lifestyle. Which are recommendations you should provide to ANY age group coming from a sedentary lifestyle looking to move towards a healthier way of living (RD Article).
Now, let’s put down the pitchforks and get to some real dialogue. What exercises are good for people over 50 (or any age)?
Short answer: Any exercise you can do with good form is an exercise you should be doing, regardless of age.
What are some of the BEST exercises to do (or to aspire towards)?
Hip Hinge (with and without weight)
Squats (with and without weight)
Deadlifts (with and without weight)
Why these exercises? All six of these exercises include the following performance points:
Multi-joint (involves more than one joint at a time)
High level of coordination
High level of strength
Engages several muscles at one time
Easily transfers to our daily activities
Promotes bone, tendon, and ligament health
All involve a high level of midline stability (core stability)
Basically, if you were to do these 6 exercises for the rest of your life, you would be doing yourself a huge favor. Now, if you do these exercises haphazardly (i.e. with no regard to your form or technique) you can bet your buttons the likelihood of injury is going to increase, like trying to hold a knife at the sharp end to cut something with the handle.
A saying we use around Nikao is that it’s not about WHAT you move, it’s about HOW you move. To put it plainly, if you cannot do a bar exercise with a pvc pipe or dowel rod, you cannot (and should not) attempt the lift with a weighted bar. Likewise, if you cannot do one of the body weight movements (i.e. pull ups, push ups, squats, and hip hinge) without a controlled eccentric (downward) motion, you need to take yourself back to square one and address some major issues first.
Your body is ALWAYS adapting, at all ages, and it is either adapting towards bad habits or good habits. In the 21st century, the temptation to grow more proficient in bad habits, like a hunched over position to better see your screen, is always looming. It takes a conscious effort to sit up straight, bring your screen to the level of your eye, and make sure you are not adopting a bad posture.
If you need help learning how to move better, check out our Instagram feed, Facebook posts, blog articles, or our YouTube channel. We have several videos designed to help you move better and without pain. If you really want to make a lifestyle change for the better, join us for one complimentary class.
Sign up here: https://www.nikaostrength.com/start-now
Move well, feel well, gang!