20-minute Sample Workout for Older Adults from Go4Life


MS. SANDY MACGRATH: Hi, welcome to Go4Life an exercise campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH. My name is Sandy Magrath I’m a personal trainer and fitness instructor. We’re going to do a sample workout so you’ll be able to watch me and follow along with Mitter, Irene, Grisel and Jerry. For equipment you’ll need a sturdy chair, with arms, two equally weighted objects like dumbbells, soup cans, or water bottles, a mat and a towel. I’ll be teaching at a more challenging level with Irene and Mitter. While Grisel and Jerry will do modified versions of the same exercises. Always listen to your body. We’re going to start with our warm-up. Every time you exercise you should always warm up before you start doing strength exercises. How’s everybody feeling right? GROUP: Great! MS. SANDY MAGRATH: You guys ready to go? Let’s start with our warm-up here we go So we’re gonna start with a march and so what we’re doing is we’re warming up the muscles and getting the blood flowing, raising the heart rate just a little bit. Good so you want to start out slow and then you can just pick it up as you want to. So we’re gonna march for 4, 3, 2 more and get ready we’re going to take it right to a step touch right now here we go step touch. Now when you’re doing your warm-up if you don’t do it exactly like I do that’s okay because all we’re doing is warming up those muscles. So you want to have good posture, abs in, shoulders back, and head up. We’re gonna do 4 more guys and 3 last 2. We’re going to take it back to a march so march it right here march it out and we’re going to do 4, 3, 2 hold it right there. Feet are steady. Your feet should be shoulder distance apart. Take the arms up loosening up the shoulders now. So take it up, and down, take it up, and down. Can you guys feel that everything starting to loosen up a little bit? GROUP: Yes. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: Here we go let’s do 5 more and 4, last 3 2 more and 1. Now what I want you to do is I want you to reach back make sure your chair is behind you, and you’re going to have a seat. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to warm up the quads now. You can have your arms out and just stand it up, and take it down, and stand it up, and take it down, stand it up. How you guys doing back there? Okay now you should feel your legs starting to warm up. And let’s just do 4 more. What you do in your warm-up a lot of times you’ll do exercises or your warm-up will resemble the exercises that you’re going to do later. So you’re warming up those muscles. Here we go this is the last one take it down, keep that seated position. Take your hands put it right on the sides of the chairs. Take your legs out they should be shoulder width apart . So go ahead Grisel, take the feet just a little bit wider, little bit wider, there you go. Now we’re going to point the toes this is warming up your calves and your ankles. So stretch, and flex, stretch and flex, stretch and flex. Let’s do 3 more and 2 and last 1. So grab the sides of the chair. Roll your neck out just a little bit. Sometimes people tighten up you know when they’re exercising and so you have to remain relaxed. So here we go now feet are shoulder distance apart you’ve got the arms of the chair and you’re going to push yourself up, the abs should be in, and 2. This is one of the harder exercises that we do in this routine. GRISEL: True. SANDY MAGRATH: Grisel says yes we do. Now if you have any trouble with the exercises some of the exercises what you should do is maybe go look and watch yourself doing them in the mirror to make sure that you’re using proper form. We’ve got 2 more. I’m watching you guys back there. You guys look good. And one more, here we go once again shake out those shoulders. Next exercise, chair stand 10 of them okay? Now remember cross the arms, lean back, sit up straight, arms out and take it up. Now make sure that chair is behind you I don’t want anybody falling down and and take it forward. Arms are straight, and take it up, cross the arms, lean back. Now once again for the abs in tight. It’s amazing things that you use your core for but doing this chair stand you actually do use your abs when you’re trying to stand up a little bit. GRISEL: I think I need to work on that. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: Good, everybody needs to work on that. Here we go. Now with the sample workout, we’re doing three circuits so 10 repetitions each time. So lean back, we’ve got 3 more and if you start to get tired you can always slow it down just a little bit. We’ve got 2 more. Is everybody good? GROUP: Yep. MS SANDY MAGRATH: Okay 1 more, and take it up, and shake it out. Go around to the back of your chair. Next exercise, back leg raise. Good posture, take the leg back we’re going to do 10 of these Here we go- and 2, remember nice straight leg. If ever you have the opportunity to use a mirror to do these exercises that way you can really watch to make sure that you’re using good form. Because in the studios we’ve got mirrors everywhere, and done, beautiful. Switch legs, take it back and back Now can you guys feel this working the glutes? GROUP: Yeah. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: Great. That’s what I’m talking about. We’ve got 4 more. Here we go- 4, 3, last 2 and just 1 more- here we go. Next exercise. Shake it out first, toe stands 10, take it up, and once again feet should be about shoulder distance apart. Take it up and hold it for a second and down. Now if you want to modify this and make it harder you can always do it on one foot and that way you’re raising more body weight but we’re going to take it back to 2 feet. Last one, and done. Once again shake it out, next exercise. We’re going to do balance so your’re going to take it up the right leg now remember where do you get your balance from? We’re going to do 10 of these and we’re going to hold them for 10 seconds. So I’m going to do it a little bit more challenging. Remember keep that knee soft and let’s go ahead and switch How’s everybody doing? So soft plant leg. Left leg is up have your chair always nearby. and let’s go ahead and switch. Right leg is up now. Okay, we’re going to start playing around here a little bit. Now right leg is down, left leg is up. Drop one hand only. MITTER: I can do both. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: You can do both? Your’re a star. Way to go Mitter! I love it. He’s going to grow wings back there. And take it down. And switch. Back-to-front and side arm raises. So grab your weights. Okay remember, you guys good? Feet shoulder distance apart we’re going to do 10. We’re going to combo them. So we’re going to do front first. Take it down, out to the side, front, and to the side. This is 3, 4, now once again you can slow it down if you need to or if you want more challenge, increase the weight. We’ve got three more. So, 3… last two… and just one more. Here we go. Take it up and take it down. Let’s go ahead. Good. I want you to grab your towel from underneath your chair go ahead and stand up. What you’re going to do is you’re going to take your towel put in your right hand. I’d like you throw it over your right shoulder grabbing the back of the bottom of the towel with your left hand. And what I’d like you to do is keep the elbow nice and tight to the side of your head and pull down. Then you’re gonna hold each stretch 15 to 30 seconds. So that’s good amount of time. Don’t cheat on it, OK? It’s so easy. Everybody that, everybody finishes their workouts and then they just walk away. But stretching and flexibility is so, so, so important. So, what I’d like you to do once again pull down and relax it just one more time. Let’s do it one more time. Now this time we’re going to hold it for that 15 seconds. So hold- you at home too. Keep the elbows tight to the side of your head that way you’re really stretching out the shoulder the triceps, and let’s go ahead and switch sides. Now what I’d like you to do- hold the towel in your left hand, throw it over your left shoulder, grab the towel with your right hand down low. Okay you guys got it all? Okay, here we go. Now elbows close to the side. Once again holding 15 to 30 seconds. And you can do 3 to 5 of these, okay? So, we’re going to do 3. And take it down. Now remember stretching is to slight tension, no pain. And let’s just go ahead and relax it for a second and then pull it back down. A lot of times with the stretching each time you do it you might get a little bit more stretch out of it not always, but sometimes. But it’s something that you need to work on on a daily basis. Stretching you can do everyday. And relax it and let’s do one more time. We’re going to hold this one for a long time, okay guys? And take it down and hold once again, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. That allows you to relax your body and allows maybe just a little bit more stretch. Okay and done. Beautiful. What we’re going to do now, take the towels put them back under your chairs, have a seat. Now what we’re going to do next is we’re going to go ahead we’re going to get down on the floor. Now this is important for you at home to remember. When you’re getting up and down off the floor you have to make sure that you do it safely, and you guys, too. So what I’m going to go ahead and stand up. I’m gonna give them verbal cues and while I’m doing it I’m going to turn around- I’ll have my back to you- but I want you to watch and see how I do it maybe first before you do it. So you’re going to turn around, you’re going to make sure that you have just a sturdy chair. So that way you have something to hold onto. So let’s turn around you’re gonna grab the arms of the chair. You’re going to take your right knee down, and then you’re going to take your left knee down. You’re going to take your left hand down, then you take your left hip down. Rolling over. You’ve got both arms down. And take it down to your right elbow, left elbow, and then you’re going to turn to your side and you’re gonna go ahead and position yourself like you’re like you’d be watching TV. Now you can take your head and cradle it in your hand or if you have problems with your shoulder, you can take it out- and I believe Grisel and Mitter- I mean Grisel and Jerry- are doing modified versions. You can take it your head down to where it’s lying flat on the floor with on top of your shoulder. So let’s bring the leg back now if you have problems with flexibility you can wrap a towel around your ankle and and stretch the front of the leg and this is called the front of the leg stretch or your quad. And once again holding 15 to 30 seconds and then releasing. So we’re going to hold it and take it out. And when doing this, if you have trouble balancing, you always want to be holding your abs in, but you can bend this bottom leg just a little bit and it’ll help stabilize you. Now I’m going to straighten my leg back out. And let’s release. And take it back. Now if your leg is up like this, what I’d like you to do is take the leg so it’s nice and close to the other leg- right on top of it- because that way you’re going to get the most out of the stretch. And let’s take it out. Now going to flip over to the other side so I’m going to turn my backside toward you and once again roll over. If you have shoulder issues once again you can take that arm straight out and if not you can cradle your head your hand. Now I want nice straight line with the body. If you need to bend that bottom leg- and thank you, Jerry for being our modifier. Take the leg back- and you want to grasp it maybe right above the ankle- and hold it. Can you guys feel the front of the leg stretch? GROUP: Oh, yes. MS SANDY MAGRATH: Good, good. We worked him hard, those those chair stands- that, that was good work. That was a lot of work. Okay, and extend the leg or release and let’s pull it back again. And hold it. Now remember- breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Just relax your body, allow the stretch to happen. And let’s go ahead, release and let’s do it one more time. Okay here we go hold it back. And sometimes you get in a hurry, you want to avoid the stretching. Don’t do it, it’s important. Okay, here we go. We’re going to release the leg. Now what we’re going to do is we’re gonna roll over to our back and we’re going to stretch the back of the leg. And once again we’re going to start with the right foot. And if you start with your right foot, you’ll always remember where you’re at, so start right, then go left. Now, Jerry that is a great idea. If you have any issues or your neck just feels like it needs a little extra support, just go ahead and throw a towel behind it. And then that way it allows you to relax more into that stretch. And take it down. Now we’re going to just stay on the right leg, so let’s go ahead take it back up. And each time holding it 15 to 30 seconds. And breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, and let’s take it down. Now, if you have a little bit of a problem with flexibility, you can keep this leg at a bent knee which is going to allow you a little bit more stretch. And if you can’t reach all the way up to your calf, maybe grab behind your thigh or grab your hamstring. So, I’m going to grab back up here- I’m going to straighten this leg back out. Okay, and let’s go ahead, let’s take the right leg down. Now, we’re going to switch over to that left leg. So remember, position yourself for what works for you, what feels good to your body, because remember this is your workout. And hold it. And take it down. Now, how does that feel, Jerry, with a little bit of support for your neck? JERRY:It’s good having that support. MS SANDY MAGRATH: Good, because you know if you’re not relaxed you’re not as you’re not going to get as much out of that stretch. Okay and hold it, now remember breathe. So let’s go ahead- breathe in through your nose- nice big one- and blow out through your mouth. And let’s take that leg down. We’ve got one more stretch of the hamstring. So, let’s bring it back in and hold it, and relax. Now, if you want to add a little bit more intensity, you can point your toe down and that’s going to give you a little bit more intensity in that stretch. Adds a little bit more of a calf stretch, also. And let’s take it down. Now, here’s what we need to do next- we need to get back up off the floor. So, everybody, you guys ready? This is pretty comfortable down here let’s go up to our elbows. We’re going to We’re going to turn over we’re going to go up to our left hand. We’re going to turn our body, go up to your knees. Now, okay. Down on your knees, Mitter. Okay, right hand is on the arm of the chair, left hand, take your right knee up, take your left knee up, come up, roll the shoulders back, dust yourself off, and give yourself a good hand. You guys did a great job, you guys at home, I hope you enjoyed the workout, Thank you so much.

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