What is Strength Training?
The definition of Strength Training: improving muscular strength by gradually increasing the ability to resist force by using weights or machines. Leg strength training is most beneficial when completed laying flat on the bed or floor using weights. We have found that when older adults are able to lift four pounds with four specific laying-flat exercises their mobility and balance improves. This process takes 10 minutes and only needs to be completed two times per week.
When the exercises are done correctly, my clients are amazed at the results achieved. The best way to demonstrate increased strength to my clients is when they are finished lifting weights, remove the weights and have them complete the same exercise. Typically, they say that’s easy! That’s exactly the effect that I want them to realize. They have improved their leg strength so normal movements are now simple.
Strength Training Misconceptions
There are many misconceptions about strength training for older adults, for instance:
- Walking, swimming, biking, climbing stairs or water aerobics are leg strengthening exercises. Those are great exercises for heart health, building aerobic endurance, but you must have adequate leg strength to be able to do those activities.
- Leg strength is permanent. Unfortunately, people start losing strength three to five days without strength training. As we age, we lose strength more readily and consistent strength training is necessary to maintain the activity involvement and quality of life that we desire.