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The title is a bit off I know, but I am old myself. As well as classes for younger people (splits and deep backbends for aerialists, dancers etc) I have a regular ST class which is now populated by people in their 60s to late 70s (the oldest in fact has enviable flexibility, having done yoga all her life). But they include quite a range of people – some are like her, others are working round arthritis, the after-effects of cancer treatment, and more. My ST class as well as including standard ST exercises is intended to address some of the issues that people come with. I have found the following (some of which are probably primary, others secondary): 1. Lack of agility in simple movements. 2. Inefficient patterns of movement (in e.g. getting up off the floor). 3. Lack of confidence in simple movements. 4. General tightness –probably muscular as well as connective tissue including fascia. 5. Anterior dominance including weak and tight posterior muscles. 6. Poor core strength and core reflexivity. 7. Poor posture – excessive lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, head-forward posture. 8. Poor balance. 9. Poor body awareness. 10. Lack of strength. Some accept this because “this is what happens when you get old”. However I try to educate them that many things are possible as you get older, though you may have to try harder than a young person would. Because my classes include exercises for dealing with all of the above, the regular members now all have good function in these areas, unless held back by injury. My hope now is that they go home and educate their spouses (I also have a two-for-one offer to encourage spouses, though it is rarely taken up). The regular students obviously like it, having been coming to me for years. The rapid improvement shown by new members is heartening. I know one response could be “just do the standard ST program” and this is what I try to adhere to closely, but with a flavour to deal with the above issues as well. Some of the core exercises are drawn from Pilates, and the balances are various one-foot balances. I would like to introduce some more dynamic balances with e.g. wobble boards but do not think it would be safe with this group in the spaces I have, where there is nothing to grab onto if falling. To catch yourself when actually in the process of falling, I think you need rapid reflexes, and these need practice, though unfortunately they don’t get it in my class. I wonder if anyone else has experience with this age group, and whether they look out for other things too, and any comments on my program and approach. Jim.
Hi Every body, is a video I filmed of a variant of the bolster hip flexor I was playing around with today, that targetted the deep hip flexor (psoas), in me at least.. Some others felt not so much in the psoas (mainly rectus femoris), so I thought I would put it up for people to try - it works really well for me.As I explain in the video, it does not use the standard contract-relax approach, but more a modulation of the tension in different muscles and a sequential contraction style stretch. It uses movement above the site of stretch to get the actually stretch (as the psoas is kept contracted, so that you don't lose the sensation-contraction). Let me know what you think. D p.s thank you to Graeme for the initial inspiration for this stretch!