Skip to content

Category: Uncategorized

Healthy Hearts: The Muscle Pump

Your Legs Help Your Heart

 
 

When we refer to a muscle pump, we aren’t talking about when your arms get huge from working out hard (like Arnold). This is actually in reference to the muscles in your body that contract and squeeze the venous blood towards the heart to assist in the flow. When you walk, your soleus, calves, quads and other muscles of the leg are contracting which are putting pressure on the veins and pushing the blood upwards against gravity towards the heart. This process is the muscle pump.

 
 
 
 

When an individual is sitting still and not moving, like on an airplane, the heart is fighting against gravity without assistance. The heart is required to force the blood out from the left ventricle and into the arteries which then pushes the blood in the veins back up. When you flex your muscles, they assist the heart and make the process easier. Therefore, by moving around and engaging your muscles, you’re actually taking a type of stress off of your heart! This can be beneficial if you suffer from being overweight, having hypertension (high blood pressure) or other similar medical issues.

 
 

So, how does this apply to you? Aside from the health benefits for all, if you exercise it is important to understand that the muscle pump is in your favor. The human body is intelligent and there are countless buddy systems implemented just like the muscle pump. When you are exercising strenuously there can be a lot of byproducts that develop such as lactic/pyruvate acid. When you rest between exercise sets, the blood is pumping these byproducts through your other organs like your liver which is “cleaning” your blood. Now consider this, the human body only has 4-6 liters of blood and this amount is influenced by the individual’s age, gender, body size and more. Also, it takes approximately 1 minute for blood to circulate through the entire body one time. Therefore, if you are resting for only 30 seconds, you’ve allowed ½ cycle of blood to circulate. This is why it is harder to start up your next set with such a short rest. Now compare the idea of 1 minute to 3 minutes and how it compares to the “cleansing” of blood. Basically, get up and get moving though to engage the muscle pump and speed up the recovery time and flow of your blood.

 
 

Rest is Goal Oriented

This is why rest is actually goal oriented! If your goal is to improve strength, resting for 30 seconds isn’t going to benefit you as much as resting for 3-5 minutes. If your goal is to improve muscular endurance and to keep the intensity high, keep the rest time low! This is in favor of those specific goals! If you have any questions at all, please reach out to one of our personal trainers and they’ll gladly explain how to program rest into an exercise program for you!

 
 
 
 

If you’d like to learn more on the muscle pump or other little “tricks” of the body, please contact Full Scale Fitness and one of our personal trainers! We help any individual we can, even if they aren’t a client of ours. We understand that education is the key to success so it’s our responsibility to be of resource to all!

Burn Fat + Gain Muscle | Compound Exercises 101

 
 When it comes to burning calories or putting on lean muscle, like anything, there is a strategy that can improve the speed of your desired results. Either goal requires that there are large muscle groups activated during an exercise. This is describing what we refer to as compound movements or multi-joint exercises. Our team of trainers describe compound movements as being an exercise that dynamically engages multiple joints. A compound exercise recruits large groups of muscle which when trained correctly will burn more calories and improve overall strength. The other type of exercise is what we refer to as an isolated exercise which is also called an accessory movement. This type of movement dynamically engages one single joint at a time versus multiple joints like the compound movement.
 
 
Smith Machine Bench Press - Full Scale Fitness Online Personal Training in Akron
 
 

To give an example of the two types of movements, let’s look at an exercise to work the muscles of the back and the biceps, the pull-up. When performing this exercise, both the elbow and the shoulder joints are engaged throughout the entire movement. As the body is pulled upwards, the shoulder joint is being depressed which engages the muscles of the back such as the latissimus dorsi (the “lats”), the rhomboids and more. In regards to the elbow joint, when the angle of the elbow shortens under 180 degrees it is then engaging the biceps. Let’s compare this to a biceps curl. As the exercise performer goes throughout the movement, the angle of the elbow becomes acute, just as it did in the pull-up. However, the only joint dynamically engaged is the elbow joint and not the shoulder joint. The biceps curl is then considered an isolated or accessory movement. Therefore, both the pull-up and the biceps curl are engaging the bicep but the pull-up also engages the back.

 
 
Pull Up Exercise - Full Scale Fitness Personal Training In akron
 
 

So why is this useful? Whether you’re looking to burn calories or put on mass, you want to make sure you’re optimizing compound lifts and not just accessory movements. Each personal trainer with Full Scale Fitness develops every exercise program starting with compound movements. These are the most exhaustive and energy-consuming exercises and therefore should be completed first. If you’re a lifter and looking to put on size, it would be ideal to perform any exercise that can engage the maximum amount of muscle at one time to get the most out of the energy used. A pull up is working the biceps just as much as a curl and it is also engaging the muscles of the back. Kill two muscles with one movement! No two birds shall die or stones be thrown over here, just pure muscle gains! For any individual looking to burn off excess fat, isn’t your goal to burn more calories? Absolutely! If you have one hour to exercise, it’s best filled with compound movements instead of isolated movements.

 
 

Using Isolated Movements

Now, that doesn’t mean that isolated movements don’t have their place in an exercise prescription. Our trainers start with compound movements but they end on accessory movements. Advancing off of the pull-up example, the back will fatigue along with the biceps after the movement has been completed. It is much more difficult to find more “juice” or energy in the back once it is fatigued, however the biceps typically have a little remaining. This extra bit of energy should then be used to complete isolated movements. If you’ve got a couple drops of fuel left, that may not be enough to do another pull-up but it is enough to do 2 sets of biceps curls! Now that is a win-win situation.

 
 

This is why having a professional fitness instructor explain why you are doing what you do will be more beneficial than you may have realized. If you’re going to be putting in the hard work, don’t you want to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible? Of course! By having a personal trainer or strength coach develop your exercise program or teach you how to exercise, they’ll be implementing a scientific approach that is building towards your goals. For the individuals looking to put on strength and mass or those looking to shed excess weight, start doing compound lifts first! Then burn out the rest of your energy/fuel on the accessory lifts.

incline dumbbell chest press - full scale fitness online personal training exercise database akron
 
 

So next time you’re exercising, as yourself if the movement engages one joint or multiple joints! If you have any questions about fitness or nutrition, please reach out to us at Full Scale Fitness and we would love to help! We want to be a resource to the community when it comes to health and wellness. You don’t have to be a personal training client to receive an answer!

Thank you for reading!

Andy Hanson, MS, CPT, DBC-1
Owner / Head Personal Trainer

#FullScaleFitness

 
 

*Full Scale Fitness serves the Northeast Ohio region by specializing in-home personal training services and nutrition services. We’re based right out of Akron! We provide all of the necessary equipment and train you from the comfort of your own home! Learn more by visiting our website or by checking out our social media pages! www.facebook.com/fullscalefit and www.instagram.com/fullscalefitness – Thank you!!* #Akron

Valgus Knees | Joint Health

Beware of Valgus Knees When Exercising

 
 
Valgus Varus Normal Knees - Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Articles
 
 

During a squat/walk/lunge, watch your knees to ensure they don’t cave in as this is dangerous to the knee joint and the parts that make it up such as the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Valgus knees can lead to patellofemoral (knee) pain, ACL tears, and iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome. Now keep in mind that women are more prone to experiencing knee valgus due to their increased q-angles (angle from the hips to the knee cap). The reason the women tend to have a larger q-angle is for birthing purposes.

 
 

Now What Causes This?

  1. Weak hips: Work on strengthening the gluteus muscle group and external hip rotators. Try glute bridges to build the muscle group because this is a simple yet effect exercise that can be done anywhere!
  2. Tight ankles: Stretch your calves and hamstrings to help loosen the ankle. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) standards for stretching advise 15-30 second holds for 2-3 sets. 
  3. Weak quadriceps: Focus on strengthening the vastus medialis muscle which will aid in stabilization of the knee. Try doing leg extensions, focusing on the last 20% of the contractions which will focus on the vastus medialis
  4. Weak hamstrings: Focus on strengthening the hamstrings through prone leg curls or Romanian deadlifts. If you are working out from home, try isolated hamstring contractions/holds.
Romanian Deadlift (RDLs) - Full Scale Fitness Online Personal Training Exercise Database

Consider using a band as an alternative method.

Banded Romanian Deadlift (RDL) - Online Personal Training Full Scale Fitness Exercise DAtabase
 
 

The trainers here at Full Scale Fitness understand the severe complications that can arise with improper exercise form and we take our time to educate our clients. If you know that you suffer from valgus (or varus) knees, contact us and we would love to develop a program for you! If you live in Akron, Cleveland, Canton or the surrounding area in northeast Ohio, we can provide in-home personal trainers that will work with you to fix the issue. For those of you too far to be trained in person, we can provide our online personal training programs in lieu!

 
 

If you have a question on this article or a suggestion for future articles, please contact us at [email protected]!

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist

Why Use a Registered Dietitian (RD) for Your Nutrition Services?
 
 

Where do you get your nutrition information from? Is it from the media? A colleague or coworker? Wherever you seem to get your information, make sure it is valid! With today’s boom in online personal training programs and fitness nutrition programs, it can be difficult sorting through what is “healthy” material and what  is “garbage” material. Many people don’t know that it is illegal for someone who is NOT a registered or licensed dietitian to provide detailed nutrition services. This means an individual who calls themselves a “nutritionist” isn’t legally able to give you a custom meal plan or macronutrient breakdown. Now why is it so strict? According to the great state of Ohio, food is considered medicine. An example would be someone who is deficient in vitamin B12. Their signs and symptoms may resemble someone who is deficient in folic acid, however they are not and the true issue may easily be overlooked. This simple mistake can cause severe damage! The food could “cure” the deficiency much like a medicine can cure an illness.

 
 
nutrition banner - full scale fitness akron personal training blog
 
 

10 Reasons to Consider Where Your Nutrition Information Comes From

 
 
  1. Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or food related areas at an accredited university with course work accredited by governing bodies.
  2. Completed extensive supervised practice that includes a minimum of 1200 hours providing exposure to all areas of nutrition.
  3. Successfully passed a national exam.
  4. Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration as a Dietitian.
  5. The title “Dietitian” is protected by law.
  6. Dietitians are held accountable for their conduct and the care they provide. Because of this, the reliability and safety of their professional advice and care are ensured.
  7. Provide personally tailored recommendations through thorough assessment of each client.
  8. Use evidence-based practice when providing nutritional services. All recommendations are back up by science, not opinion!
  9. Trained to translate the science of nutrition into everyday information about food.
  10. With all the nutrition misinformation out there, dietitians are the expert you can rely on!

Developed by: Rachel Suba, R.D., L.D. – Full Scale Fitness

 
 

Sitting = Smoking

Sitting is the New Smoking

 
 

We all know smoking is bad. Even people who smoke know that they aren’t doing the healthiest thing for their bodies. It’s 2017, so we all understand that smoking kills your lungs, your brain cells and lowers you life expectancy. We all know this right? You might even judge those who smoke, thinking, “how could you possibly do something so bad for your body when you know it’s so unhealthy?” What if I were to tell you that you are doing something bad for your body EVERY SINGLE DAY! How many hours a day are you sitting around? How many hours are you choosing to sit and watch television rather than move around. Sitting really is the new smoking.

 
 
 
 

Technology is awesome. We all have benefited positively from the creation of modern cell phones, television, computers, tablets and even gaming systems. Have you thought about how much you have been hurt from these modern technologies? How often are you choosing to watch a show, play a game, or scan social media rather than move around (I of course say this as I am sitting down typing: the irony is not lost on me). It is time for you to really contemplate how often you are choosing to sit around and flip through your Facebook rather than going on a walk!

 
 

Why is sitting so bad?

  1. Gain Weight: Is it really a big surprise that sitting more causes more weight gain? Your ability to process food will go down and it weakens your metabolism.
  2. Decrease Heart Health: Your heart is responsible to push blood throughout your body. The stronger your heart and the more proficient the heart, the healthier your body is. Your heart is strengthened from exercise and healthy habits. Therefore, sitting is going to weaken your heart and lower your heart health.
  3. Sitting is Linked to Earlier Death: Studies have shown the more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to die an earlier death from various reasons. Many studies have shown that the most sedentary people have 22-49% greater risk of earlier death.
  4. Sitting for Too long is Linked to Disease: Sitting for a long period of time on a regular basis is heavily linked to diabetes as well as heart disease.
  5.  
 
 

At this point you might be kind of worried because you catch yourself sitting quite often. I know many people who have cubicle positions where they are expected to sit and stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. Well, just because you have this kind of job doesn’t mean you are destined to get a disease and die an early death. There are ways to combat sitting for long periods of time.

 
 

4 Easy Steps to Reduce Sitting Time

 
 
  1. Stretch Often: When you are sitting at your desk make sure that you are continually stretching out your legs and your arms to keep the blood flowing.
  2. Get a Unique Desk: There are some really awesome desk options out there that allow you to sit or stand. This would be a great option if you are done sitting and you know you need to stand up. We recommend the Jaswig standing desk! This company has YOU on their mind and has developed a desk that is perfect for the busy worker-bee.  (www.Jaswig.com – if you’re interested)
  3. Change Office Set Up: If you have the option you can place your phone, your fax and other things that you use often around you office so that you have to get up and move every time you want to use that item.
  4. Sit on Exercise Ball: You can exchange your chair with an exercise ball. These are fun and can get you moving.

Natural Ways to Relieve Stress

Take a moment.

 
 

We have a lot of stresses that we deal with in our lives. We deal with work, relationships, finances, children, home repairs, accidents, our health and the list can go on. Every single person deals with stress no matter the stress they might deal with and it is safe to say that everybody is trying to search for ways to relieve their stress. Some people turn to unnatural means that can be quite unhealthy. Some use substances (drugs, alcohol etc.) and other use junk food (I think we are all guilty of this).  I wanted to discuss 4 healthy and natural ways to reduce and relieve some of the stresses you may have.

 
 
Hiking Outdoors - Stress relief in nature - full scale fitness akron personal training blog
 
 

4 Tips to Start Today

  1. Exercising: It should come at no surprise that exercise can help relieve stress. It is much like Reese Witherspoon says in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphin’s, endorphin’s make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” As ridiculous as she is in this movie, she makes a good point. Exercise gives natural endorphin’s that can help relieve stress.  Through research we have learned that those that participate in regular aerobic exercise (at least 3 days a week) have a decreased amount of tension and they have an elevated and stabilized mood. Of course, the benefits of exercise go beyond relieving stress. Your heart really appreciates it too! Check out this article; Your Heart Pump!
  2. Spending Time in Nature: Did you know that spending time in the outdoors can actually decrease your stress level? I am sure you have found this to be true. Even thinking about nature makes me happier. Just think about sitting next to the river while the wind blows lightly. All you can see is trees and blue sky. You can’t hear cars, or people and it just YOU enjoying the beautiful outdoors.  Studies have shown that those who are in the nature have lower levels of cortisol (a hormone used to measure stress). Nature has also proven to decrease heart rate. So, if you are feeling stressed maybe you should take a hike (literally)! If you’re in the greater Akron area, check out Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). There is plenty of hiking, kayaking and biking to do!
  3. Eating Healthy Food: We all know that eating healthier has MANY benefits. Eating healthier can give you more energy and make you happier. But, did you know there are certain types of foods that you can eat that have been proven to lower you stress?! Here are the best foods to eat to help combat stress: asparagus, avocados, berries, cashews, chamomile tea, green leafy vegetable and garlic.
  4. Vitamins: Oftentimes the reason that you are dealing with so much stress is because you might be having a vitamin deficiency. Many of us don’t get enough of all of the essential vitamins that we need to function at 100%. This is especially prevalent in stress. There are some natural vitamins that you can take in order to provide yourself with an easier time to handle your stress levels. These vitamins include; Melatonin (for better sleep), Magnesium (promotes relaxation), Vitamin B-Complex (improve mood) and Theanine (helps to ease the mind and help with anger). If you want to learn more about vitamins and minerals, reach out to our registered dietitian or one of our personal trainers! We’d love to answer any questions you may have.
 
 
Akron Running / Akrun Marathon - personal training in akron nutrition
 

The FITT Principle

The FITT Principle

Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health | Full Scale Fitness

The FITT Principle

 
 

The FITT Principle:

(F)requency – How often are you exercising?

(I)ntensity – What effort are you putting in? 50%? 85%?

(T)ime – How long was the workout for?

(T)ype – aka “mode” – What style of fitness / exercise were you doing?

This is the basis in improving your exercise program and avoiding a plateau in your workouts. Alter one of the FITT Principle elements and you’ll be on your way to new gains!

Lets elaborate…

To elaborate each one…

  1. Changing the frequency of your workout is simple. If you’re currently exercising 2 days per week, add a 3rd day!
  2. The intensity of your workout should vary per exercise. If we are discussing strength training, focus on the percentages of effort on your 1 rep max OR use your rate of perceived exertion (RPE). This will allow you to gauge your effort / intensity level. Cardiovascular effort can be found with a heart rate check or the speed per mile (if measurable).
  3. Changing the time of your workout is pretty straight forward. Say you’re consistently running for 20 minutes, try adding an additional 5 minutes. This can be done every 2 weeks and before you know it, you’ll be up to 60 minutes or more! Typically, the standard is to add no more than 5% per week. Adding time to your strength training plan is a fun challenge referred to as “TUT”, or, time-under-tension. Basically if you’re average 15 reps takes 15 seconds to complete, try slowing the rep down to 1/2 of the speed making the same 15 reps take 30 seconds. Now, the muscle is being engaged for twice the time and completely changes the individual exercise itself. You’ll quickly come to learn that your normal weight ranges feel much heavier.
  4. Moving to a new type of exercise (or workout style) is what most people think of when altering their strength training workout. If you’ve been doing flat bench press for 12 weeks, try adding incline DB chest press. This is changing the type of exercise completely while still focusing on the same muscle group. As for cardiovascular exercise, change the type is as simple as moving from running to rowing or cycling to elliptical. We suggest changing your cardiovascular exercise frequently. This insures that you’re not overusing the same muscle groups at high-rep ranges. Running a few miles can equate to 10,000 steps (reps) while moving to cycling can reduce how much the calves are used in comparison. Not changing the type, or mode of exercise can lead to overuse injuries.
 
 
woman deadlifting in Akron Ohio

If you want to learn more, head on over to our website at www.fullscalefit.com and check out our blogs, health calculators and more! We have a lot of free resources available for you to take hold of your health. Give us a follow on social media to stay educated! @fullscalefitness on instagram and @fullscalefitllc on twitter. Thanks for reading! Video: Quinn Butler, MS, CPT with Full Scale Fitness Personal Training #Akron #PersonalTraining #FitnessTip #FITT #Trainer #Ohio #FullScaleFitness

Protein Requirements for Endurance Athletes

Endurance Athletes Need Protein Too!

 
 

Endurance athletes can gain that competitive edge they need to progress and win by optimizing their protein intake. If you’re an endurance athlete and haven’t taken the time to understand what protein can do for you, now is the time! Believe it or not, protein is for more than just Arnold Schwarzenegger and his army of “Swoldiers”. An ultra-marathon runner may actually need a higher intake of protein in their diet than a well-trained strength athlete. Take a second to learn about what protein requirements you may need to benefit your endurance activity!

 
 
Running Warm Up
 
 

Oxygen is #1 BUT…

Endurance exercise is aerobic in nature, meaning it utilizes oxygen consumption as a fuel source. Obviously, oxygen isn’t the only fuel source and the remaining energy comes through nutrition. Protein energy production amounts to about 1-6% of the total energy cost for aerobic activities such as running so why would it be important to understand? The role of protein in this scenario isn’t actually to provide fuel but more to provide the strength to recover and rebuild properly. Research shows that each year over 50% of all runners in America will experience some sort of running-related injury. This can often be prevented through proper training techniques, adequate nutrition and hydration and then of course proper recovery. Looking at the specific roles of protein, it’s noted that it is required to grow, maintain and repair muscle and other bodily structures. Protein is specifically needed to build collagen in ligaments, tendons and other mending materials (i.e. scar tissue). As an endurance athlete, aren’t these structures crucial to your performance? Our team of personal trainers fully agree with you.

 
 

So now you know what protein does and why it is important for any endurance athlete but you’re left wondering, “How much protein do I need?” As you’d expect, the answer is actually more complicated that a simple blanketed recommendation. There are multiple factors that determine the correct amount of protein you should intake for optimal recovery. These factors include the exercise intensity, duration, nutrition status, hydration status and the background training status of the individual. If you increase either the intensity or the duration of your exercise, then you’ll need to increase your protein intake as they are positively related for protein utilization. In regards to nutrition or hydration status, you want to make sure you’re taking in plenty of calories in total before concerning yourself with specific protein intake. With adequate energy intake (specifically carbohydrates), this spares muscle protein and promotes protein synthesis. In simple terms, don’t burn the muscle you’ve earned. If you aren’t getting in enough calories, you aren’t doing yourself a favor! Keep in mind, weight loss is a different ball game so we are focusing on endurance athletes at this time.

(IF YOUR GOAL IS WEIGHT LOSS, CONTACT US AND ONE OF OUR PERSONAL TRAINERS WILL PROMPTLY REACH OUT TO YOU.)

 
 

The training state/status is also a factor that determines the amount of protein an athlete should be consuming. If you are a rookie and just starting an endurance training program, you will need more protein to support myoglobin, aerobic enzymes and the formation of red blood cells. To put it simply, have more protein initially to help out your cardiovascular system. After 1 to 2 weeks of endurance training, you can begin decreasing your protein needs. Eventually once you’ve become a well-trained endurance athlete, training will actually spare protein utilization. This means that your protein requirements are lower than when you initially started your program.

To move from pounds to kilograms, divide your weight by 2.2.

 
 

So how much do you really need? According to the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range or the AMDR, 10-35% of your total daily calories should come from protein. The recommended dietary allowance states that the typical adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

(NOTE: To change your body weight from pounds to kilograms, take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2. This will give you your weight in kilograms.)

  • General Athletes: A range of 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight

  • Endurance Athlete: An absolute minimum of 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight

  • Ultra-Endurance Athlete: Up to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight

 
 
Protein Intake for Endurance Athletes
 
 

What you need to consider are the factors that make up YOU as an athlete. How long have you been training? Are you taking in enough calories? How intense was your run today or yesterday? These are questions you need to ask yourself when deciding on how much protein you should take in. As we stated earlier, there is no blanketed recommendation for everyone. So our personal trainers try to educate their endurance athletes on how to decide their own protein consumption by asking them these very same questions.

 
 

You Need to Know This:

It IS possible to consume too much protein. If there is an excessive amount of protein ingested and not enough calcium, the body can become acidic. This causes the body to respond with excretion of calcium from the bones to bring the pH level back to normal. So, if your protein is high and calcium is adequate it WILL NOT increase your risk of osteoporosis. If your protein intake is high and calcium is inadequate, you WILL increase your risk of osteoporosis. The RDA for calcium is 1,000 mg a day.

 
 

Good sources of protein: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs

  • 1 egg (6 grams)
  • 1 oz. lean meat, poultry, fish (7 grams)
  • 1 oz. cheese (7 grams)
  • 1 cup milk, soy milk, yogurt (8 grams)
  • 5 oz. tofu (10 grams)
 
 
Hell Yes We're Back - Joey Phillips
 
 

While we are known for our in-home personal training in Northeast Ohio (Akron, Canton, Cleveland), we also have a registered dietitian on the team who builds sport specific meal plans. Our team of fitness trainers have all worked with numerous types of athletes so give us a call today for your fitness plan.

If you have any questions at all on our personal training services or on our nutrition services, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call (419) 906-0204.

11 Chair Exercises for Senior Fitness

No matter what age we are, exercise is important and is very beneficial for our health. Physical activity and exercise in older adults can reduce the risk of chronic disease, preserve functional capacities, improve quality of life and the ability to perform daily activities of living such as, cooking and cleaning, and improve measures of physical health that change with aging. Senior fitness shouldn’t be overlooked as it will have lasting impacts seen beyond the scale! 

 

Luckily, it’s never too late to start an exercise program and reap the benefits of physical activity. There are many accessible exercise options that can improve strength, cardiovascular health, mobility, and balance, all from the comfort of a sturdy chair.

Benefits of Performing Chair Exercises

Not everyone over the age of 65 is able to move agilely or even out of their seat, but this shouldn’t mean that they can’t exercise. So many regular exercises can be done while using a chair as a mobility device. All of the above benefits can still be reached when exercising with a regular chair. The chair should be stable with four legs, and no wheels or rollers. 

 

Here is a great list of exercises that can be done using a chair in the comfort of your own home:

Shoulders

Shoulder Press

The seated shoulder press will help with extending the arms overhead with an increase in strength, mobility and endurance. To make this exercise more challenging, dumbbells or a resistance band under the chair can be added.

Senior Fitness -Seated Overhead Press Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated overhead press body weight Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Front Raises

 

Seated front raises are particularly useful for holding objects in front of the body or even just extending an arm forward.

Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Back

Seated Rows

Seated rows can be done to strengthen the muscles in the back. This exercise can also be done with low weight dumbbells or a resistance band around a pole in front of the chair. 

Seated Rows - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated Rows - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Seated Reverse Flies

Seated reverse flies are a great exercise that targets the upper back as well as the back of the shoulder. Low weight dumbbells can be added to make this exercise more challenging.

Seated Bent over fly for senior fitness in Akron canton Columbus personal trainer Sarah WearleySeated Bent Over Fly Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Chest

Seated Chest Press

The seated chest press is an exercise that not only uses the chest muscles but also the shoulders and triceps. This is known as a compound movement because multiple muscles are used at once. Weights or a resistance band can be added behind the back of the chair to make this exercise more challenging. 

Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton forward press chestSeated Front Deltoid Raise - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Push Ups

Modified push ups are a challenging but great exercise to strengthen the chest and tricep muscles. To make this exercise easier, lowering the knees to the ground for added support can be done.

Push Up for Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron CantonChair Push Up Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Core Exercises

The core is an essential part of the body for everything we do during the day. We are using our core a lot of the time, whether we are standing, walking, bending over, and even sitting. A strengthened core is important for good posture to avoid slouching which could lead to muscle tension and back pain.  

 

Knee-To-Chest

The seated knee-to-chest is a great exercise that can be done without any added weight. You can also isolate this movement by using one leg at a time, while the other leg is firmly planted on the ground. 

Senior Fitness Core Balance Training with Personal Trainer Sarah Wearley Akron Canton Columbus OhioSenior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Plank 

The plank exercise is known as one of the most popular core exercises for any age. This modified version can make a traditional plank easier.

Push Up for Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Legs

Chair Squat 

This exercise should be started off using only bodyweight. If tolerated well, you may add weights for more of a challenge.

Exercises for seniors = Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton squat silver sneakersChair Squat - Exercises for Seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Knee Extensions

Knee extensions are a great exercise to help strengthen the quad muscles. To make this exercise more challenging, a resistance band can be used.

Leg extensions for seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Heel Slides 

Heel slides can strengthen both the quad muscles and the hamstring muscles. If knee pain is present, this exercise should be avoided due to pressure sustained on the joints. 

Exercises for seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated Leg Extension Exercises for Seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

If you have any questions on senior fitness and nutrition, please reach out to us directly! We would love to help. We currently work with senior citizens on their balance training, strength and conditioning fitness and more!

Learn more on our in-home personal training page: https://fullscalefit.comour-activities/in-home-personal-training/

Check out our YouTube channel where we will post more videos on senior fitness and wellness! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrU6ecm7D9E