Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 Best Exercises for Women Over 50 - Linda Melone

Below is an article by Linda Melone, 57, writer, fitness pro and an expert on helping women over 50 create an ageless body.  This is a great article for any woman regardless of age who's trying to get healthy and fit.

5 Best Exercises for Women Over 50 - Linda Melone

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Best Strength Training Exercises for the Aging Skier

You're not as young as you once were, but your passion for skiing is still as strong as it ever was.  While you may not ski with reckless abandon as you did in your twenties you can still slice confidently down the slopes with the proper exercise and conditioning program.

Downhill skiing is a physically demanding sport, and a good strength and conditioning program can get you ready to meet the challenges of the slopes.  The combination of balance, stability, control and speed in skiing requires a high level of muscular strength.  Building a strong musculoskeletal system before you go skiing enhances your performance, and is the best protection against injuries.

The key to better skiing as you age is to develop greater muscular strength and this is a good routine for accomplishing that goal. This routine focuses of developing strong leg, upper body, and abdominal muscles, all critical to good skiing.  Perform this routine 2 times per week with at least one day of recovery time between consecutive workouts.



Exercise # 1 - Leg Press



The leg press is one of the best exercises for overall strength and development of your legs.  First, sit in the seat, positioning your feet about shoulder width apart and chest high on the platform.   Adjust the seat height by pulling the handle and sliding forward until your thighs are parallel to the platform.  This is your start position (make sure that your lower back is pressed firmly against the back of the seat).  With your feet flat, slowly press upward until your legs are fully extended but short of locking.  Slowly return to the position where the weight almost touch the weight stack.  The breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the start. 

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets).

Exercise # 2 - Step Ups

 

Step ups are great for developing and shaping your butt.  With this exercise you will do the prescribed number of repetitions on one leg followed by the same number of repetitions with the other.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position yourself in front of a bench.  Place one foot flat on top of the bench, positioning your body to make a right angle at your knee.  With your chest held high and shoulders square step up through your heel and lightly tap the bench with your other foot before returning to the starting position.  Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you step up and inhale as you step back down. 

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets).



Exercise # 3 - The Seated Row



The seated row is an exercise that targets the muscles of the upper back.  Place the pin in a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete, again you may have to experiment to find the appropriate weight for you.  Sit on the bench, and place your feet on the foot rest.  Lean forward, and grab the attachment.  Slide back until your legs are almost fully extended and hold the attachment waist height with your arms fully extended.  This is your start position.  Lift your chest high, and slowly pull your hands to your naval, while rolling your shoulders back and pinching your shoulder blades together.  Then, slowly return to the starting position.  Your breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale when you are pulling in and inhale when you are returning to the starting position.

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets).


Exercise # 4 - The Dumbbell Chest Press



The dumbbell chest press is one of the best exercises for developing and strengthening your chest, and the front of your shoulders.   Pick-up a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on the end of a bench.  Place the dumbbells end-up on your knees, then lay back on the bench and position the dumbbells chest height at your sides.  This is your start position.  Press the dumbbells up over your chest until your arms are fully extended, being careful not to lock your elbows.  Slowly return the dumbbells to the start position.  Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the starting position.
 

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets)



Exercise # 5 - Alternating Dumbbell Curls



Alternating dumbbell curls strengthen and develop the biceps -muscles in the front of your arms- and forearms.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand (palms toward your body) at your side, position your feet shoulder width apart, slightly bend your knees, and hold your chest high.  This is your starting position.  Slowly curl one dumbbell rotating your palm outward toward your shoulder squeezing your bicep at the top of this motion.  Slowly return to the start position, and repeat with the other arm.  Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you curl up and inhale as you return to start.

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets)



Exercise # 6 - Cable Triceps Press



The triceps press strengthens and develops your triceps - muscles in the back of your arms.  Find the rope that has a ball on each end, and attach it to the cable machine a little above your head.  Step back about a foot from the rope, position your feet shoulder width apart, and bend your knees slightly.  Grasp the rope tightly with your hands resting on the balls.  Bend your elbows to where your forearms are just above parallel to the floor and lift your up chest.  This is your start position.  Slowly press your hands down until your arms are fully extended and then slowly return to the start position.  To get the full effect of this exercise, it is very important to keep your elbows still at your sides throughout the movement.  Breathing pattern is to exhale as you press down and inhale as you return to start.

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets)





Exercise # 5 - Calf Raises

 

Calf raises strengthen your calves and help keep your Achilles tendons healthy.  First, stand on the machine and adjust the shoulder pad to a position where the weight comes about six inches off the stack when you are standing straight.  Next, step onto the platform with the ball of your feet, and stand-up straight. (Do not lock your legs).  This is your start position.  Slowly lower your heels down as far as possible, and then come up on your toes as far as possible.  Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you are lifting up and inhale as you are going down.

Do 1 warm-up set of 12 repetitions at 50% of your exercising resistance. (Your exercise resistance is a weight with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete with proper form).  Rest 60 seconds and then do 2 more sets of 8 to 12 repetitions at your exercising resistance (resting 60 seconds between sets)



Exercise # 7 - Seated Ball Twist


The seated ball twist is a very good exercise for abdominal development and strength.  Sit on the floor with a slight bend in your legs.  Hold a therapeutic ball with your arms fully extended in front of you.  Lean back slightly, pick your chest up high and pull in your naval.  Now, turn your shoulders to one side, and touch the ball to the floor.  Then turn to the other side, and do the same.  A complete revolution counts as one repetition.  Be sure you arms stay extended throughout this exercise.  Breathing pattern is to exhale as you touch the ball to the floor and inhale as you bring the ball across your body.

Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

Strength training is the most effective way of building and maintaining your strength as you age.  Please checkout my downloadable strength training programs at Forever Fit and Firm.