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Working to your weakest side – a Seniors fitness tip

October 16, 2012

I hear a lot in my classes ”I am afraid to try this exercise because my one arm wont go that high”. I tell my students “focus on what you can do, and just do what you can, don’t worry about what you cannot do”.

I also add in the two following bits of theory.

While exercising, or more specifically stretching, working to just below the limits of your weakest (most limited) side will help you develop improvement faster.

This seems like such a simple concept however it is one that we never think about. Most everyone I know who does any sort of exercise usually focuses on improving their good side to go further, betters, faster and so on.
The issue as I see it is; by focusing on the good side, the bad side never catches up. The workload on the weaker side is compensated for by the good keeping the weaker from developing. By focusing on the weak side, the good side gets a workout, but forces the weaker side to develop and will improve to a better sense of balance between the two sides.

In conjunction with the weakest side idea is that of only working to 80% of your capabilities.

If you work or push yourself to your limits every time, especially for seniors, you risk injury. By working to a moderated level, work the muscles without injury, yet give them enough of a workout to gain improvements.

Whether using weights, walking, running, practicing Tai Chi or Yoga for seniors, or simple stretching, employing these two concepts can help you keep moving forward, increasing your capabilities and help you maintain an active and independent lifestyle.

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