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Embracing Functionality: Functional Training for Seniors with Movement Method

Updated: Nov 17, 2023


Table of Contents

Introduction

In today's world, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle has become more important than ever, especially for seniors. The Movement Method, a recognised leader in functional training, offers a comprehensive approach to fitness and wellbeing for seniors. This guide will delve into the world of functional training for seniors, exploring its benefits, exercises, and the positive impact it can have on overall health. Whether you're a senior looking to improve your functional fitness or a caregiver seeking to enhance the well-being of your loved ones, this guide will provide the knowledge and tools to embrace functional training.



Functional patterns for seniors at movement method

2. Discovering Functional training for Seniors

Functional training is a holistic approach to exercise that focuses on movements applicable to everyday life. It emphasises the improvement of physical functions such as balance, mobility, and strength, allowing seniors to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. The Movement Method has developed specialised training programs tailored to seniors, understanding the unique needs and goals of this population.

According to research, incorporating functional training for seniors has numerous benefits for physical and mental health. The exercises involved in this training method help improve overall functional mobility, reduce the risk of falling, and promote better posture and stability. Furthermore, functional training has been shown to enhance mental well-being, providing seniors with a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.



3. Unveiling the Best Functional Exercises for Seniors

When it comes to functional exercises for seniors, the Movement Method offers a wide range of options to target specific areas of the body and improve overall functional fitness. Here are some of the best functional exercises for seniors:


Exercise 1: Squats

  • Instructions: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat by bending the knees and pushing hips back. Return to the starting position.

  • Benefits: Squats strengthen the lower body, including the hips, thighs, and glutes. They also improve balance and mobility.

Exercise 2: Lunges

  • Instructions: Stand with feet hip-width apart and take a step forward with one foot. Lower the body until the front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Push back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

  • Benefits: Lunges target the legs, hips, and glutes, improving overall lower body strength and stability.

Exercise 3: Plank

  • Instructions: Start in a push-up position, with hands directly under the shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Engage the core muscles and hold the position, keeping the body in a straight line from head to toe.

  • Benefits: Planks strengthen the core muscles, including the abs, back, and shoulders. They also enhance stability and balance.

It is important to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially for seniors. They can provide guidance and ensure exercises are safe and appropriate for individual abilities and health conditions.


4. Building Muscle at Any Age with Functional Training

One common misconception is that building muscle becomes more challenging as we age. However, functional training proves that muscle building is possible at any age. The movement patterns and resistance exercises incorporated in this training method can help seniors improve muscle strength and increase lean muscle mass.

Traditional weightlifting exercises, such as bicep curls and bench presses, can be modified to fit functional training. By incorporating movements that mimic everyday activities, such as lifting groceries or getting out of a chair, functional training allows seniors to build functional muscle strength that directly translates into improved daily life functionality.

A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity demonstrated the effectiveness of functional training in improving muscle strength in seniors. The participants engaged in a 12-week program that included a variety of functional exercises targeting different muscle groups. At the end of the study, significant improvements in muscle strength and functional performance were observed, proving that seniors can indeed build muscle through functional training.


5. Regaining Leg Strength with Functional Training: A Possibility, not a Myth

As we age, leg strength tends to decline, making daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of a chair more challenging. However, functional training offers seniors the opportunity to regain leg strength and improve overall mobility.

Functional exercises that target the lower body, such as squats, lunges, and step-ups, help seniors develop stronger leg muscles and improve balance. These exercises also enhance coordination and proprioception, which are essential for maintaining stability while performing daily activities.

A case study conducted by the Movement Method showcased the positive effects of functional training on seniors' leg strength. The participants, who previously struggled with mobility and leg strength due to age-related factors, experienced significant improvements after consistently engaging in functional exercises. They reported enhanced leg strength, increased stability, and improved overall quality of life.


6. Overcoming Barriers to Functional Exercise in Senior Years

While functional training provides numerous benefits for seniors, there may be barriers that prevent them from actively engaging in exercise. It is important to address and overcome these barriers to ensure seniors can fully embrace functional training and reap its rewards.

One common barrier is the fear of injury. Seniors may worry that engaging in exercise could lead to falls or exacerbate existing health conditions. To address this concern, it is crucial to start with exercises that are appropriate for each individual's fitness level and gradually progress. Working with a trained professional, such as a certified fitness instructor or physical therapist, can help ensure exercises are safe and tailored to specific needs.

Another barrier is the lack of motivation or perceived difficulty of exercise. Seniors may feel overwhelmed or discouraged by the idea of engaging in physical activities. To overcome this, it is important to emphasise the enjoyable aspects of functional training and highlight the positive impact it can have on overall health and well-being. Group exercise classes or partnering with a friend can also provide motivation and support, making the experience more enjoyable.


7. Functional Movement for Seniors - Improving Everyday Life

One of the primary goals of functional training for seniors is to improve everyday life functionality. The exercises and movements involved in this training method are specifically designed to enhance the ability to perform daily activities with ease and confidence.

Functional movement exercises are typically multi-joint movements that mimic real-life activities. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously and require coordination, stability, and balance. By incorporating functional movements into their fitness routine, seniors can improve their ability to perform tasks such as bending down, lifting, reaching, and stepping up, which are essential for independent living.

Research published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity demonstrated the positive impact of functional movements on everyday life functionality in seniors. Participants who engaged in a functional movement program reported significant improvements in their ability to perform day-to-day activities, such as getting out of a chair, walking on uneven surfaces, and carrying groceries. These findings highlight the practicality and utility of functional training in seniors' lives.


8. The Role of Balance, Mobility, and Strength in Functional Fitness

Balance, mobility, and strength are three key factors that play a vital role in functional fitness for seniors. Improving these elements through functional training can significantly enhance overall physical health and well-being.


Balance

Maintaining proper balance becomes increasingly important as we age. Loss of balance can lead to falls and injuries, impacting seniors' independence and quality of life. Functional exercises, such as single-leg stands, heel-to-toe walk, and yoga poses, can help improve balance by strengthening the muscles, enhancing proprioception, and promoting better coordination.


Mobility

Mobility refers to the ability to move freely and easily without pain or stiffness. Mobility limitations can hamper seniors' ability to perform daily activities, causing frustration and decreased quality of life. Functional training incorporates exercises that improve joint range of motion, such as shoulder circles, hip rotations, and ankle mobility drills. These exercises help seniors maintain or regain their mobility, allowing them to move with greater comfort and ease.


Strength

Strength is the foundation of functional fitness and directly impacts seniors' ability to perform daily tasks. Functional training focuses on strengthening muscles that have functional relevance to everyday activities. Exercises that incorporate resistance bands, bodyweight movements, or light weights can help seniors develop functional strength and improve their ability to perform tasks such as lifting groceries, climbing stairs, or getting out of a chair.

By addressing balance, mobility, and strength through functional training, seniors can enhance their overall physical capabilities and maintain their independence as they age.


9. The Benefits of Functional Fitness Training for Seniors

Functional fitness training offers numerous benefits for seniors, both physically and mentally. Let's explore some of the key advantages seniors can gain from incorporating functional training into their exercise routine.


Physical Health Benefits

  • Improved balance and stability, reducing the risk of falls

  • Enhanced mobility and flexibility, enabling greater freedom of movement

  • Increased muscle strength, enhancing overall physical capabilities

  • Better cardiovascular health, promoting a healthy heart and improving endurance

  • Maintenance of a healthy body weight, reducing the risk of obesity-related health issues

  • Reduced joint pain and stiffness, improving overall comfort and quality of life

Mental Health Benefits

  • Increased cognitive function, promoting mental sharpness and memory

  • Boosted mood and reduced risk of depression, fostering emotional well-being

  • Enhanced stress management capabilities, providing a sense of relaxation and calm

  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem, boosting overall mental well-being

  • Opportunities for social interaction and engagement, reducing feelings of isolation

By encompassing these physical and mental health benefits, functional training helps seniors lead fulfilling, active, and independent lives.


10. Conclusion

Functional training for seniors, offered by Movement Method, provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to fitness and well-being. By incorporating functional exercises into their routine, seniors can improve balance, mobility, strength, and overall functional fitness, facilitating an active, independent, and fulfilling lifestyle.

The benefits of functional fitness training extend beyond the physical realm, positively impacting mental health, cognitive function, and overall well-being. With proper guidance, support, and consistency, seniors can reap the rewards of functional training and enjoy the rewards of an active and healthy life.

It is essential to consult with healthcare professionals or fitness experts before starting any exercise program, especially for seniors. They can provide personalised guidance, ensure exercises are suitable for individual abilities, and monitor progress to maximise the benefits gained from functional training.


To start your journey towards improved functional fitness and overall well-being, consider exploring Movement Method and their specialised functional training programs. Click here to learn more about the benefits, exercises, and resources available to help you maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Embrace functional training today and book now to experience the positive impact it can have on your physical and mental health.


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