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Five body parts No one tells you to practice

No matter how much you walk, train your core and lift weights, you may not do enough to avoid some of the problems that we may experience as we get older – problems such as bent shoulders, shuffling feet and weak hands. [19659002] Working with large muscle groups and performing cardiorespiratory exercise does not come to the small muscles that we need to perform daily activities. As a fitness instructor working with seniors, I think that in general there is a lot of emphasis on walking and weightlifting, while very little attention is paid to functional stretching exercises.

Five neglected body parts are particularly crucial to how happy and safe we ​​age: the neck, the shoulders, the shins, the hands and the hips. They are all easy to work on. So, along with your normal fitness routine, try some simple stretching exercises and strength movements to keep your whole body fit and good.


Seniors squat for many reasons, including osteoporosis or arthritis. However, sometimes it is simply because of a combination of strong chest muscles (chest muscles) and weak rhomboids (the muscles between the shoulder blades). This imbalance pulls the shoulders forward in a premonition, also called "pronation", which in turn shortens the muscles that connect the chest muscles to the shoulder joint. How to prevent or correct this? Try two things: strengthen the rhomboids ̵

1; the muscles that are primarily responsible for good posture – and stretch those connecting muscles.

Strengthen your rhomboids

Stretch the connecting muscles


19659003 Most people will suffer from low back pain during their lifetime. Sometimes this problem is serious and requires medical attention, while at other times they are just hip hip flexors. Your hip flexor muscles are a group that keeps your leg in the hip joint, among other things. The largest, the psoas, attaches to the lowest vertebrae and low back muscles on the other side (right psoas attaches to left low back muscles, and vice versa). So when the psoas is tight, it pulls on the lower back, causing pain. Tight hip flexors can also cause poor posture by tilting the pelvis backwards, forcing the upper body to lean forward. If you exercise often, your hip flexors need extra attention. Do this a few times a day if you have back pain, or only once a day for maintenance.

Do hip flexor correctly

[19659004] Neck

As we get older, driving becomes more dangerous due to weakened vision and slower response times. But there is another reason why most of us don't take into account: reduced neck mobility. Over time, our joints become less flexible due to bone thinning and cartilage loss, making the head more difficult. Even if you walk on a busy sidewalk, you must look to the right and left. Follow this neck stretch to make your joints move smoothly.

Try this neck stretch


As soon as you start to feel you're not picking up your feet like before, you know your body is getting older is going to be. Shaking your feet is a health hazard. Shaking increases the chance that you will stumble and fall. By practicing your shins, you can prevent the shuffle from developing further. We usually focus on the large muscles of the legs when we train (for example, glutes, quads and hamstrings) and neglect the small muscles, such as the tibial anterior. This muscle is located at the front of the shin and makes possible what is known as & # 39; dorsiflexion of the ankle & # 39; or lifting the toes to the leg. While walking, these toes are erased while you wave your leg and you are encouraged to put down your heel first. Keep this muscle strong and flexible to balance the calf, and you will be able to walk confidently.

Strengthen your tibialis anterior

Click here to view an exercise for stretching the tibialis


Becomes difficult to open pickle jars? That is not the only problem that you encounter if your hand and forearm strength are missing. Turning door handles, using a can opener and holding a toothbrush require force in the upper limbs. You might think you can just squeeze a squishy ball and cover it – but that only strengthens the muscles at the bottom of the forearm. You also need to keep the top of the hand and forearm strong. This video from dr. George Best shares a great exercise for this area at 5:16 minutes; he feels that most of us already have great grip power, but if you want to improve that too, look at the good grip exercises he shares in the first five minutes.

Strengthen your hand and forearm

Note: As with any new exercise, be careful and talk to your doctor first as you have medical problems .

Note: The Senior Planet Center at 127 W 25th Street in New York City is again organizing a series of Feldenkrais Method lessons with different chair exercises. This session is aimed at helping you regain the natural flexibility of your arms and back and helping you increase your comfort while turning. Feldenkrais is offered every other Friday as part of our Fit Friday series – join us on Friday the 13th from 2.30 pm – 3.30 pm.

RSVP required. Email rsvp@seniorplanet.org or call 646-590-0615.

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