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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 05-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
Sean Kane
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Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

My mother has finally shown some interest at fitness and a healthy lifestyle, better late than never right? Anyway, she hasn't done much in the way of physical activity in probably 20-30 years. Right now I have her started off with this routine 3 days a week, with long walks of the off days:

Knee Pushups- 3x5-8

Chair Squats- 3x8-10

Body Rows on Rings (rings set high so it is less difficult)- 3x5-8

Lying Hamstring Curls w/ a Swissball 3x8-10

Supermans (as she has past back injury much like mine, and these helped me tremendously)

What do you guys have as suggestions? I really want to start her out quite easily because neither of us know her limits and I am sure at her age recovery is going to be a factor. I have her Zoning for the most part, still working on that. Any advice would be much appreciated.


-Sean
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
Sarena Kopciel
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

Wall pushups. You can start her on CF Kids "puppies" perhaps... Just encourage her to move and be active! If she drives, park car further and walk, use stairs if possible...anything and everything to enhance activity
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:54 PM   #3
Andrea Grant
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

Sean good luck.

It would be great if you could keep us posted as to her progress. I am in the process of trying to get my mother into scaled crossfit and zone. She is 70 yoa, although not that physically active she is overall "fairly" healthy (no diseases etc.), and still puts in 12 hour days at her job. I would hate for her to finally retire and then not be physically capable of doing what she wanted. My hope is to get her started and put together a video progress training log.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:43 PM   #4
Derek Maffett
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

Ditch the hamstring curls. They're useless unless I missed something.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:07 PM   #5
Sean Kane
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

I really couldn't think of a movement that worked her hamstrings very well, I could be wrong though. This was actually started by her doctor telling her her legs were "weak". Any ideas?
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:28 PM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

deadlifts? Ramp the weight up slowly and make sure she wears long pants. See the Deadlift/shin scraping thread. You may want to ask Rip about this, his 95 year old mom set deadlift record in her age group. Not that there is a whole lot of competition in the age, group still. Her picture is one of his books.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
Larry A Henrikson
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

Tai Chi is phenomenal for older folk
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
John Milgram
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

All the articles say it's good to load the bones, so here's a qualified second vote for deadlifts. Just be very careful. It may be better to do Farmer's Walks with appropriate dumbbell weights.

What about static holds in any variety of positions? Top of a dip (feet up or providing support), top of a pushup, top of a body-row, hanging from something (feet up or providing support), skier's squat, etc. Repetitive short holds may be better than a few long holds to (near) failure.

Did anyone suggest combined squat-pullups? Set a bar or rings at about armpit level. Hold the bar or rings and squat down as deep as possible. Stand up using legs to push and arms to pull.

If squats are no problem, what about light dumbbell thrusters?

I heard of a trainer that had the class of older people practice multiple reps of simply standing up from a prone position; in case they needed to recover from a fall.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:57 PM   #9
Steven Quadros
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

I train a 70 year old woman at my job; she has a great attitude and I really enjoy working with her. For her, simple exercises do best, with an especially keen eye towards avoiding draining her for the day. She is not planning on achieving elite athlete status, but wants more energy, muscle mass, and the ability to do her daily tasks well.

One of the things we work on is proper lifting form with oddly shaped objects, in our case, these perform better balls with handles and a medicine ball attached to a rope. Anything will do, those just happen to be what we have around, and are more difficult to grip than balanced dumbells. Making sure she keeps her back in position, I have her lift these relatively light weights, being sure to drill her on back position and using her legs. Everything is simple and mimics the tasks she might be called upon to do on a daily basis, for instance, lifting grocery bags, or a moderately heavy object above her head to a shelf.

I try to stay in her comfort zone enough to keep from making the experience, well, bad. This might be the most important lesson; you can do many exercises with her, with some great suggestions being offered in this thread, yet if you're pushing too hard for too long, her desire to participate will wane, and then there's nothing to be done for it. Keep things short, do flexibility and dynamic stretching workouts, and, most importantly, learn what she likes and wants to do, and do it, as much, if not more than, what you want to do.
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Old 05-10-2008, 05:59 AM   #10
John Milgram
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Re: Fitness Training for a Senior Woman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Quadros View Post
... most importantly, learn what she likes and wants to do, and do it, as much, if not more than, what you want to do.
There you go - that's the best advice yet.
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