This part is actual training part what we have been doing. My client is very motivated that makes my personal training job so fun. She first worry because she can do only a little, but seeing her improving on everything is one of the best part of doing this job.
Don’t think what you think “it is easy” is easy for everyone
Each client teaches me great lessons. I have worked with many senior clients and they especially teach me a lot to become a better personal trainer. What I learned the most is “my normal is not his / her normal”.
For instance, we used a cable machine one day, I asked my client to do standing single arm rows with the cable machine after showing her how to do it. She tried the first row, then she couldn’t hold the weight and the cable just pulled her. It was completely my fault. I should have explained how to stand in an athletic position, hold the whole weight with her body. This is not only arm movement, but also the whole body agonist, antagonist, stabilizer, synergist work together to finally complete the movement. After I described this, she could do this exercise while keeping the position.
Keep their heartrate high
I am not talking about doing vigorous exercise. But a relatively high heart rate (keep her warm) for my client makes her synovial joints lubricate which prevents injury. In order to do so, program designs are so important for senior clients. Starting with a five minute warm up, we do some circuit training including some cardio to keep her heart rate. I also avoid her to do any exercise that makes her lie down on her back in the first 30 minutes such as chest press.
Lower body exercises -Squat-
We have been doing squats. Her knee and ankle seem to be fine with squat except when we try to do it knees out on down phase. She felt uncomfortable on her knees but squatting with a resistance band wrapped around her knees is fine. Since she has knee and ankle issues, we progress slowly on the lower body. We try 2 or 3 exercises and I ask her to tell me if she would feel discomfort 2 days after training.
Upper body exercises -pull-
Although her goal is to have less pain on her knee and ankle, why not to also work on her upper body. She seems to have no issue on her upper body. We do pull and push exercises (often 3 to 1 or 2 to 1 ratio) to keep her posture good.
Upper body exercises -push-
We have tried chest presses, incline push ups for push movements. We also have been working on overhead movements. I don’t think she needs to lift 100lb but still it is needed for daily activity. I teach her scapular plane (easy on her shoulder). Also we focus on “shoulder movements”. In other words, the lumbar spine should never compensate to complete the movement.