Exercise Priorities

What is number one?

We often get asked if there is one exercise we’d recommend for older adults. Of course we’d like to suggest more than one, and will do in coming posts, but if pushed we’d have to say the simple “sit to stand.”

The reason practising this movement is so useful is that it will strengthen all the muscle groups that work when you need to get up from chairs or sofas, in and out of cars (especially low ones) and on and off the toilet. It brings into play your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles hip flexor and lower back muscles. Truly a ‘big bang for your buck’ exercise!

Our recommendation is that you try to do at least one set every day (a set is the number you do at a time). Of course if you can do more than one set a day even better!

What is the best technique?

Sit tall on a kitchen or dining room chair with your feet flat on the ground.

Place your hands on your thighs, tip forward from the hips and drive up to a fully upright posture.

If you can’t stand up without using your hands to push off the chair that is fine – start with that and you will find you improve over time. If you can easily stand without using your hands increase the challenge by crossing your arms across your chest or even holding them out in front of you.

Return to the chair more slowly than you stood. Count to four as you do this.

· Do a set of between 6-12


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