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What Are Good Functional Movement Patterns for Seniors?

by Busines Newswire
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Good functional movement patterns can help seniors maintain active, healthy lifestyles. These activity patterns promote being able to move and perform everyday activities more easily. Physical limitations due to aging may be reduced by engaging in proper exercise techniques that promote strong muscles, balanced flexibility, and sufficient endurance, all contributing to a better quality of life. Here are several good functional movement patterns and activities for seniors:

Pushing and Pulling

Pushing and pulling movements can help seniors to maintain upper body strength and help develop proper posture. These functional movement patterns are helpful in many everyday activities, such as opening doors, pushing grocery carts, and getting in and out of bed or off the floor.

Push-ups can be a useful exercise for strengthening the muscles needed to push and pull. To perform a push-up, seniors should place their hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground, keep their body straight and lower it by bending their elbows, then push themselves back up. If push-ups are challenging, seniors can practice pushing and pulling using an incline chest press.

Squatting

Squatting can improve overall leg strength, balance, and mobility. Functional movements like squats can be used for strength training to help keep the joints healthy and reduce age-related problems, such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Squatting also helps seniors perform daily activities, such as sitting down and standing up from a chair. To perform a squat, seniors should maintain proper form, with shoulders back, feet shoulder-width apart, and weight distributed evenly. Seniors may also use a support or chair to help maintain balance.

Gardening is an alternative way to practice movements like squatting. It is an enjoyable, low-impact hobby with numerous tasks requiring functional movements. Tending to plants involves gentle bending, squatting, kneeling, stretching, and lifting, which can provide full-body exercise.

Lunging

This movement pattern contributes to leg strength and balance by working the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. Lunges also promote knee joint mobility, helping seniors move up and down or forward and backward more easily. Seniors can perform stationary lunges with or without support. To perform a lunge, seniors should keep their back straight, step forward with one leg, briefly touch the back knee to the ground, and then switch legs and repeat.

Balancing

Older individuals may be more prone to losing their balance and falling down. Balancing exercises like step-downs and single-leg lifts often help seniors improve their balance. Yoga poses can also contribute to overall balance and stability. These exercises require seniors to support and manage their body weight, potentially helping to reduce the risk of falls.

Walking and cycling are simple exercises that utilize functional movement patterns and require balance. Seniors can walk to a nearby grocery store, bus stop, or post office. Walking or cycling to run errands is a practical way to incorporate these balancing activities into a daily routine.

Core Strengthening

Core strength can impact body posture and spinal support. Basic exercises like planks and leg lifts can help engage and strengthen the core muscles. Seniors can also participate in yoga to improve their core strength, utilizing poses like the downward dog or side plank, depending on their desired difficulty level. Consistent participation in core strengthening exercises may help seniors to maintain their balance, mobility, and independence over time.

Improve Your Functional Movement Today

Seniors can take proactive steps toward improving functional movement using practical exercises, targeted yoga poses, and daily activities. Practicing these movements can enhance daily activities and contribute to balance, strength, and overall health and well-being. Contact a yoga instructor, physical therapist, or strength training expert today to begin improving your functional movement abilities.