We cannot change back the clock with age However, we can alter the exercises we do to increase the quality of our lives and the ability to carry out daily tasks.
The secret? Training for strength.
Training for strength keeps joints and muscles in good condition and flexible, which is more important as we grow older, as the loss of muscle mass causes us to get stiff joints as we age.
As a fitness coach I perform five essential exercises for strength training every day to look and feel more youthful. If you’re not able to practice them on a regular basis I would suggest performing these exercises at least two times every week:
1. Glute Bridge
What is it targeting:Glutes, core and Hamstrings
The targeting of these muscle groups by using the Glute Bridge may help to alleviate lower back discomfort and increase mobility.
How to do a Glute Bridge:
- Relax down on your back. Lay your feet flat on the floor, with the knees bent. Keep your straight arms to your sides and your hands laid flat to the floor. Your heels should nearly touch your fingertips.
- Engage your core muscles and pull your lower back towards the floor in order to align your pelvis.
- Your heels should be pushed into the floor, while you lift your hips off the ground.
- Slowly slowly lower back to the floor one vertebra at time beginning at the highest point on your spine and gradually working towards the bottom.
- Do three sets of 10 reps.
2. Reverse Quadruped Fly
What is it targeting:Upper back, shoulders and the core
Be aware of whether your shoulders have a tendency to rotate forward while you’re working on your smartphone, at your computer reading a book, or driving. If they’re not it, you’re not the only one; this problem affects many peopleand could cause neck pain.
The strengthening of your upper back by performing a movement such as that of the Quadruped Reverse Fly may help decrease neck pain, or even stop it from happening. It could also help you get better posture as time passes.
How to do a Quadruped Reverse Fly:
- In a quadrupedal position, sit (on your knees and hands). Hands should lie below your shoulders, with your knees should be directly under your hips.
- The belly button should be pulled in towards your spine to make sure you have an even spine.
- Maintain your right arm straight while you extend it towards the side until it is straight with the ground.
- Slowly lower your arm slowly back to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
- To increase the intensity, perform this exercise using dumbbells weighing one to five pounds.
- Perform three sets, ranging from 8 to 10 reps each side.
What is it targeting:Glutes, back of shoulders Core, arms, Lower back and legs
Superman Superman is a relatively easy bodyweight move that brings together the advantages of both Glute Bridge and the Quadruped Reverse Fly. This exercise will strengthen the entire posterior chain composed of all muscles in the back portion of your body.
Training these muscles has been proven to ease chronic pain, especially within the lower back.
How to do a Superman:
- Place your stomach on the floor with your arms raised in an “Y” form. To change it, create an “W” using your arms instead of bend your elbows.
- While lifting your arms, lift your legs from the ground.
- For three seconds, hold the position, lower, repeat.
- Do three sets of 10 reps.
4. Dead Bug
What is it targeting:Core
A strong core will help to improve stability, decrease the pain, and enhance overall function. I like how this exercise focuses your core, while also improving cognitive function and coordination required for this exercise.
How to do a Dead Bug:
- Relax on your back and lift your arms to the ceiling.
- Keep your knees, hips and ankles at 90 degrees. Bring your lower back to the floor.
- Place your right hand over the left side of your knee. At the same time, lift your left arm and straighten your right leg.
- Return to the starting point.
- Alternate sides, placing the left leg on the right knee, while simultaneously lifting your right arm above your head and straightening your left leg.
- Perform three sets, ranging from between 8 and 10 reps each side.
5. The Plank
What is it aimed at:Core, arms, quads, shoulders, glutes and glutes
I enjoy I love the Plank because it is a full body workout. It builds shoulders and arms while they stabilize you as well as your glutes and quads as you keep your legs straight and your abs when you hold the back to a neutral posture.
How to do a Plank:
- When your body is pointing towards the ground, you can hold your body straight while sitting on your feet (or knees for a modification) and your forearms.
- Make sure that your elbows are in line with your shoulders, and then act as if you’re removing your body from the floor in order to strengthen your shoulders.
- Maintain your body straight from your head up to your feet (or the knees).
- Perform three sets of 30 second planks. Gradually increase your holding time as you become stronger.
Stephanie Mellinger is a certified personal trainer expert in corrective exercise, a corrective exercise specialist and a nutritionist. Additionally, she is the creator of the fitness firm Omnia Fit and a writer for HealthDay. You can follow her on Instagram @omnia_fit_.
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