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The "Perfect" Workout For Older Adults (Seniors)

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in October of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today we're talking about the perfect workout for older adults and senior citizens. So. the perfect workout should include strengthening,

Brad: Yes, endurance, flexibility, balance, and we must include posture.

Bob: Posture absolutely. So we're going to show a sample workout it includes these five and let's get right to it. Now when you work out, you want to start with a warmup because you want to make sure the blood is flowing and the heart rate is up and the muscles are warmed up. So just walking in place is a good way to start.

Brad: Sure. You know, if you need something to hold onto, we have a chair here. Make sure you're safe.

Bob: Then some steps to the side. You know, you can do it to a beat if you want. So, it doesn't take much to warm up.

Bob: Then add some arm swings, I like them in both directions going backward. This way you want to make sure you don't hit anybody.

Brad: Big circles. Think about your breathing. Good, deep breath, exhale. If you don't get the breathing going, going those lungs work, it's going to be not near as effective.

Bob: Now I'll show you the down version. Brad’s going to show the bit more aggressive version. But if you want to sit more, you can do that. If you want to stand more, you can do that for sure. So, we're going to start off with the posture exercise. Brad's famous W's. Winning or for Wisconsin.

Brad: W's, yes. That's right Wisconsin.

Bob: We’re going to do 10 of them. When you do these, you want to make sure you're squeezing the shoulder blades together and you're bringing the chin back and retracting it.

Brad: Breath in. Open those lungs up.

Bob: Relax. All right, we're going to start with some arm curls. You can grab weights, you can use milk jugs, or you can use soup cans. And all you're going to do is work on posture and keep your good posture and work on doing the curls.

Brad: Right. So, chest out, shoulders back.

Bob: You’re working on strength and posture with this one.

Brad: We're working for about 10 repetitions on all these. If it's too much, that's okay. Just rest.

Bob: Then we'll do some arm raises where you go out to the side. I want your palms down and you're going to look like you're flying away.

Brad: Now this one is going to be a lot more difficult than your curls, so the weights may be too much.

Bob: Yes, it is. You may have to go with a lighter weight, or you can start off with no weight at all.

Brad: Yeah. And you don't want to go way up high on this. It's going to be hard on the shoulders like Bob was doing out about straight out.

Bob: The arms are 90 degrees. I'm starting to feel that. All right. Next one. Chair dips. You do need armrests, bilateral armrests. Now what you're going to do is you're going to your legs as much as you need to, but you want to use your arms as much as you can. So, you're going to push up and that's going to work those triceps a little bit of the chest too.

Brad: It's like chair pushups almost. You'll feel it right here in the back of the arms. If you can't get all the way up. That's okay. Do your best.

Bob: That's all we ask of you. And safety first.

Brad: Safety first.

Bob: All right, the next one, it's a posture one. This one feels good. You grab the upper traps, the upper back, I guess you would call it. And you're going to pull on it and do chin tucks. And you can even do a neck extension.

Brad: Sure, leaning back. if you have a hard time, my shoulders are a little tight. I can't reach back there very well. Do the best you can. You can even grab the side of your neck and work your fingers around the neck a little bit back.

Bob: All right, the next one is going to be a sit-to-stand. Out of the chair. If you need to, you can use the arms to help you. If you're better at it, you can cross your arms across your chest or you can go straight out. I'll do the lower version. We are going to do 10 of these. And now this is a good challenge.

Brad: Yes. Good posture. This is a little harder with the hands up. If you're feeling very confident and balanced well. We're going to shoot for that 10. Now you're going to feel that it's going to be aggressive for some people.

Bob: If it's too much start with five. If it's too much, start with three if you need to.

Brad: If this is your first day you might get sore muscles from this tomorrow. So don't swear at us.

Bob: All right. The next one is leg adduction. Get behind the chair if you need to for balance. And you're going to bring the leg out to the side and you can keep the toes straight forward.

Brad: Show them what not to do with their trunk from your angle.

Bob: You don't want to dip, with your trunk. And you don't want to bring the toe turned out. And you're going to do both sides. These are working on strength and balance, again so we're getting all five components that we're looking for. The next one is leg extension. Again, that's going to work on balance. Work on strength.

Brad: Keep breathing. Good deep breath.

Bob: When you breathe, it makes it a relaxing activity versus a stressful activity.

Brad: Right, right.

Bob: All right. How about heel raises.

Brad: So, are we just going up on our toes? Or can we combine it up on our toes and rock back on our heels?

Bob: You can do it together if you want.

Brad: Be careful when you go back on your heels because that's where some people can lose their balance. There's nothing to hold you unless you have a good chair to hold onto. Or the cupboard.

Bob: All right. Now, the next one is a flexibility one. And I'm going to use a towel and Brad's going to show the stretch strap.

Brad: The only really big advantage of the stretch strap, particularly with some people, if you have arthritic hands and you have a hard time grasping because it's painful or they're weak is the loops on the stretch strap allow you to not have to grab.

Bob: They come in handy for a lot of things. So we're going to do shoulder flexion. And this is where this really helps if you have one shoulder that goes further than the other. So, the good shoulder will help the bad shoulder.

Brad: Exactly.

Bob: So just bringing up overhead in front of you.

Brad: With the stretch strap, I'm going to go out one loop and my hands are wider. I can go a little higher, a little more comfortable.

Bob: Yup. It's going to be better if, yeah. If your hands are facing each other. Thumbs up.

Brad: It opens the shoulder joints a little bit more. That's just the nature of the job.

Bob: All right. The shoulder extension is a little bit difficult in a seated position. You have to get off to the side here. You're going to grab behind you. And you're going to raise up behind you.

Brad: This is really nice with the strap.

Bob: Well, it really comes in handy for leg stretches too. You want good posture with this one. And you want to be breathing the whole time. We don't want anybody to stop breathing. All right. The next one is the hamstring. And that's where you can actually use a towel underneath the leg. But what you're going to do is you're going to have to straighten the leg, but you're also going to stretch the leg. You're increasing the flexibility and you're increasing quad strength at the same time. Now you can put your hand underneath for some of you.

Brad: Yep, that's fine.

Bob: But the towel gives you better posture. A lot of people bend over with this one. So I want you to, again, keep that real straight posture when you're doing this.

Brad: And you'll probably feel that stretch right below, right by the knee. But you're getting stretched under and strengthening on top. It's a nice combination.

Bob: You want to even things out otherwise you'll be walking around in circles.

Brad: Yeah, we will have none of that. That's exactly my point, Bob. Circle walking gets you nowhere fast.

Bob: All right, this next one is kind of an advanced one. And if you can't do it, don't include this one. It is kind of a split squat. So, get behind the chair, one leg in front, one leg in back. And you're just going to dip down. Now you can do it shallowly. This is a great exercise if you could do it. It’s great for balance.

Brad: If you have a cane, you could hold on to a cane or walker and then a chair, but don't go too deep. If your knees hurt, when you do this, do not do it.

Bob: Don't do it at all. Just stop. And then you can obviously do both sides. But it's a good functional exercise. It's a good one to do if you're able to do it. And then where to finish off the W's Brad.

Brad: You can't go wrong with the W's. A posture exercise is a great way to start and finish. You can do this throughout the day, actually. You know, before you eat do your W's. When you're done eating do your W's. Before you watch Gunsmoke do your W's.

Bob: Now you can do a cool-down too, which is the walking-in place and the steps to the side.

Brad: Sometimes I just like to relax and shake it off. Oh yeah. Very good. Enjoy the day and be careful in all that you do.

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