By Tyson Kratz, CSCS, CES
Did you know that muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30? This rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. This involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function is a fundamental cause of and contributor to disability in older people (1).
In a given workday as a Bellin Strength and Conditioning coach at East High School, I will work with middle school students who need to master the squat movement. We work on heels staying down on the floor, upper back does not round forward, and depth is approximately 90 degrees at the knee joint. Later that day, I will work with an 80 year old individual that is working on the exact same movement with the exact same coaching cues. What stands out to me, is the base strength movements I teach to adolescents are the same base strength movements I teach to our senior population.
94% of high school athletes will never play an organized sport again after graduation. So the sports specific skills that they learn are used for their 4 years of sports and may never be used again. However, the strength movements that they learn in the weight room can, and should, be used every week of their lives. These strength movements are needed in order to maintain muscle mass and optimal function past age 40.
Base Strength Movements to Consider:
- Hip Hinge
If your strength routine includes an exercise for each of these movements, you are off to a great start. There are dozens of variations to each of these movements to help keep things fresh. A trainer can always help spark your imagination. But to keep it simple, if in a given week of workouts, you are doing each of the 5 base movements and eventually you are using loads that are challenging in these movements (using heavier sets of 4 or 5 reps instead of all sets of 10) you will be doing your part to battle loss of muscle and function.
If you are unsure if your weekly routing includes these 5 strength movement patters, please set up an appointment with a trainer to get you rolling. For me, strength will always be the starting point of my workouts. It has the greatest impact on my mood and function. I know it will always be crucial to maintaining my muscle mass and quality of life.
If you need ideas for incorporating your mobility and cardio work into your strength routine, set up an appointment with a trainer! Strength training is a lifelong activity with a long list of benefits, and it will always be the beginning, middle, and end of my weekly workouts. Have fun, and stay strong!
To set up an appointment with a trainer, stop at our front desk or call us at 920-430-4756 to get scheduled.
- National Library of Medicine. Muscle Tissue Changes with Aging. Nazemi et al. January 2010