Benefits of Resistance Training for Elderly People

Benefits of Resistance Training for Elderly People

The benefits of resistance training for health and fitness are well known, especially for increasing strength and power. Often people only think of resistance training as being appropriate for young athletic individuals; however there are a number of very important benefits for the elderly population.

Strengthen Bones

Weight baring exercise such as resistance training increases bone mineral density, which is very important for elderly people as this can help prevent the decline in bone mass with aging and prevent diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. This means stronger bones and less risk of bone fractures which are often debilitating in the aging population.

Prevent Loss of Muscle Mass

As we get older, we experience a decline in muscle mass known as sarcopenia. This often results in significant declines in strength and function with increasing age. However it has been shown that regular resistance training can help slow and even partly reverse sarcopenia in elderly populations, meaning improved strength and function to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of a chair.

Reduce Falls Risk

Resistance training should also include exercises to challenge coordination and balance. This includes exercises such as standing on an unstable surface such as foam and performing exercises such as bicep curls or squats and trying to maintain balance. This sort of training will help to prevent falls by improving balance and coordination, significantly improving functional capacity in elderly people.

Improve Health Status

Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and COPD are common in elderly populations. Regular participation in resistance training has also been shown to have positive effects on health status for people with these conditions, especially in terms of improving quality of life and functional capacity.

At MD Health, we offer seniors Pilates classes at a discounted rate between the hours of 11AM – 4PM Monday to Thursday. To book a free initial assessment, call us on 9857 0644.

Written by Jack Hickey
Exercise Physiologist at MD Health

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises

This week in Workout Wednesday Jack and Mark demonstrate basic shoulder exercises to strengthen the stabilizing and postural muscles around the shoulder blades.

Conservative management for people with shoulder impingement normally includes exercise therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles as well as scapular stabilising muscles. Research has shown that exercise therapy can be just as effective as surgical intervention for the reduction of shoulder pain in people with shoulder impingement. The goal of exercise therapy is to increase the strength, endurance and/or muscular hypertrophy of the scapula stabilising and rotator cuff muscles. Control and progression of exercise variables including intensity, duration, frequency and load are crucial to achieve this. However, most clinical research studies in exercise for shoulder impingement vary widely in their prescription of exercise and do not closely control these exercise variables.
Method: A recent research study looked at the benefits of a closely controlled progressive resistance training program for people diagnosed with sub-acromial shoulder impingement. Participants in this study were assigned to either a progressive resistance training (PRT) group or a control group which performed no exercise. Participants in the PRT group participated in exercise therapy to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder twice per week for 2 months. The exercise variables in this study were closely monitored and progressed over the 2 months to optimise increases in muscle hypertrophy, strength and endurance.

– This extract was taken from Monday’s blog article ‘Progressive Resistance Training for Shoulder Impingement’ by Jack Hickey. Read it here:

Workout Wednesday: Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises