Workout for 77 woman

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Mcteague
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Workout for 77 woman

Post by Mcteague » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:46 am

Can anyone suggest a suitable workout for my mom?
She is 77. But she plays tennis twice a week. Don't be overly impressed. It not like she is playing like the Williams sisters. The point is that she is reasonably healthy.
But I think a little more exercise would be good for her.
I would like to add some light weight training to her schedule once or twice per week.
I would also like to work on her flexibility and balance. Which I think is import at for her age bracket. But obviously I do not want to put excessive stress on her or risk any injuries.
Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks


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Ironman
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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Ironman » Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:56 am

All you have to do is keep the volume lower, and twice a week is a good frequency. My grandfather is 78 and does a basic full body routine. He can't do much for quads though because his knees have been replaced and can only handle so much weight. Other than that it's just a basic weight routine. The main difference is that older people need more recovery time.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Mcteague » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:36 pm

So I got mom to the gym today. I guess you can't really tell what someone can do till they are there. I think she is in worse shape than I thought.
I put her on a stationary bike to warm up for five minutes. That was fine.

I thought I would give her a simplified full body routine.
1. Bench press
2. Overhead press
3. Leg press
4. Lat pulldown
5. Hip abductor / adductor

All machines. One plate. Which is about 10 lbs
I also figured I could toss in two sets myself in-between. Which would ensure she got enough rest between exercises. Not really perfect for me. But figured I could do a lighter workout for 30 days, till she got used to it. Small sacrifice for mom.

Anyway she was ok with the bp and op. But she could not leg press at all. She has had a lot abdominal operations and her muscles there are quite week. She could not move it at all. When I use a machine like that I know how to mentally isolate my glutes and legs. So even though abs are affected. They are less so. That is I am not pushing from the stomach.
I dont think I can teach her that.
I think I will have to start her on an even simpler routine. Maybe at most three exercises but alternating body sections throughout the week. That is 3 on Wed and a differernt 3 on Sat. Might even try MWF, if I think she can handle it.
I'll have to come up with something different from leg presses. Maybe exercise ball leg curls on the floor.
I can see this is going to take some time to get right.
But at least I got her there. Anyway, thanks for the advice.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by jlmoss » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Don't be too down on her. She probably has some muscle, she just has to teach herself how to use them. Balance and functional movement should be your main concern with her to allow her to motivate around into her later years. Compound exercises and freeweights should be the main focus, not machines. Someone posted a few links working with those more advanced in age. Stu maybe? It was a bunch of articles bunched together with three of them being more intended for older people. I'll have to look.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by mark74 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:51 pm

Leg extensions maybe?

They're usually regarded as crap because they're an open chain exercise and they won't translate very well to everyday life, plus it's often said they put the knee under higher stress than e.g. the normal back squat.

However, when I was starting off, my left knee was totally useless and couldn't squat bodyweight. Leg extensions fixed that for me and then I transitioned to back squats. Depends a lot on how her knees are, though.

Anyway, if she has a weak core, it may be a smart move to try and fix that too.


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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by jlmoss » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:59 pm

Here we go...
http://exrx.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8020" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It's actually the 5 links below the three that Stu put up on the second post of the linked thread.
Last edited by jlmoss on Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Jungledoc » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:00 pm

Instead of the machines, use familiar movements. Instead of leg press (who would make their own mother do this?) tell her to stand up. This is essentially a bottom-up box squat. Have her sit on the box, maybe a bit above parallel at first, and get good foot position and a neutral lumbar spine. Have her lean forward just enough to get her weight on her heels then stand up. If she needs a little help at first, stand in front of her and hold both hands. That way you can feel how much pressure she puts on your hands. At first, have her sit down any way she wants (she does this many times a day anyway), but as she gains some strength on the concentric, have her do the eccentric as the reverse of standing. Remember to encourage her to bend her hips first, reaching back with her, ah, derriere (this is a mother, for goodness' sake, I can't imply that she has one of those, ah, well, you know). Later (maybe much later) have her hold a dumbbell in front of her chest as she does that.

So how about "picking up something from the floor"? Start with a piece of dowel or PVC pipe laid across boxes about 10 inches off the floor (about the standard bar height with 45s on the bar). Teach good DL form--neutral spine, weight over bar, etc. When she learns that, put something like a small sandbag on a box at about that height and have her pick it up, using good DL form. Up from there. Bigger sandbags, a "lady's bar" (15 kg), then add weights until she is a massive muscle-bound power grandma.

Bench? This is such a traditional macho-man ritual, that I can't imagine a sweet little old lady doing it. Start with elevated pushups. Elevated as much as necessary to make it possible, and to keep good form. Call it "pushing something (or someone) away". Gradually lower the elevation as she gains strength.

Don't discount the importance of simple but powerful exercises like waiters' walks and farmers' walks. Easy to do with minimal weight, easy to progress. You can think of good names for the movements, like "carrying a heavy purse".

Always think about who the "client" is. Your 77 year-old mother is not a 19 year-old body builder. Tailor the workout accordingly.

Peter and Jason both train some older clients, and I'm sure that they can add a lot to this discussion.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Jungledoc » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:07 pm

By the way, elevated pushups is one of the best uses for a Smith machine. Set the bar at a convenient height and grip it while doing the pushups. It's easy to set the ideal height and then to progress to lower levels.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:54 pm

listen to Doc.

That was painful to read your workout for mom.
Sorry we did not give more specific advice ahead of time

fwiw, I warm up more than 5 minutes and I'm 42.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by stuward » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:11 pm

I'm in agreement with Doc. The 2 most functional movement in my mind are standing up from a chair and getting from a lying to a standing position. If she can do it while holding a weight in her hand, all the better.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Jungledoc » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:47 am

stuward wrote:I'm in agreement with Doc. The 2 most functional movement in my mind are standing up from a chair and getting from a lying to a standing position. If she can do it while holding a weight in her hand, all the better.
TGU? :lol:

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by stuward » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:04 am

Andy, of course I mean TGUs. The perfect exercise.

I just found this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920198/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; that compares mobility improvements in the elderly. The first group took traditional strength training, the other took multi sensory training. The second group progressed the best.

"Exercise interventions designed to improve balance are defined as those in which participants exercise their muscles against an external force, as a consequence of voluntary movement or in response to an unexpected perturbation/stimulus, in order to maintain the body’s center of mass within manageable limits of the base of support, or in transit to a new base of support."

Sounds like a Turkish Get Up is what the Doctor ordered.

Edit: Here's a good article on how TGUs keep you young and include some good discriptions of the exercise. http://reversemagazine.blogspot.com/201 ... et-up.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(Doc, the kids that wrote that article are our age.)

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:26 am

OK. Well, it's one thing to talk about people our age doing a TGU, but suggest starting a 77 year-old, previously untrained person on it would be quite a different thing. I can see that it would be a great thing for a 77 year old, and I hope to be doing it when I'm 77, but it might be a challenge to start it then. It's a great thought. I'm not saying that he shouldn't teach it to his mom (if he knows how to do it correctly), just that it's a new thought for me.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by stuward » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:25 am

That's why I say getting up off the floor is the key thing to teach. It could start with pulling herself up by holding onto a chair, then unaided. Adding a weight in the hand would be next. Holding it overhead is after that.

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Re: Workout for 77 woman

Post by Jungledoc » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:00 pm

This has got me thinking about how to build a progression from simple isolated movements to the full get-up. Interesting.


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