One of the things that I always implement in my strength and balance classes with older adults are agility exercises. These agility exercises are a crucial way for older adults to improve their overall quickness, which is essential when reducing the risk of falls. If you are not able to move quickly through time and space, you will not be able to catch yourself to avoid falling. Because of this, adding in structured exercises that let older adults and seniors practice their quickness, in a safe and controlled manner is one way to reduce the risk of falls. Let’s take a look at an agility that you can do to stop falling quickly.
Before You Begin
As seen in the video above, there are a couple pieces of equipment that are actually used in the agility exercise for seniors that we demonstrate. The first piece of equipment is an adjustable bench. If you don’t have an adjustable weight bench, you can simply use a sturdy table, chair, or anything else that is sturdy and can handle some weight being put into it. In addition to this, we also use a resistance band as a “marker” for our agility exercise. You can also use a towel, piece of string, rope, or any other type of marker to use on the ground to show where to go. I would say that the resistance bands we recommend are very versatile, and can be used for numerous different strengthening exercises, beyond being used as a marker. If you are interested on checking either of these products that we recommend out, you can visit our Amazon Associate Links below.
Adjustable Bench: View Product
Resistance Bands: View Product
Agility Exercise to Stop Falling Quickly
Once you have your adjustable bench setup in a large room with open space, you will then put your resistance band about 5-7 feet in front of the bench. Make sure the space you have is cleared off well, to avoid any falling and tripping that you could ultimately avoid. Next:
- Stand up out of the chair as quickly as you can.
- Walk as quickly as you can to the marker or resistance band you placed in front of you.
- Stop yourself as quickly as possible once you reach the resistance band.
- Repeat 5-10 times or until you need some rest.
As mentioned in the video above, this is a great way to test your agility and balance, because you have to physically stop yourself from going fast. Doing this in a controlled setting, allows you to practice your balance numerous times, to hopefully carry over into the real world. If you would like to make this exercise more difficult for yourself, you can actually increase the overall distance that your marker or resistance band is in front of you. This will allow you to gain some speed when walking, which actually makes the stopping portion tougher. An overall great exercise for your leg strength, balance, and agility, practice makes perfect! Keep on working with this movement, and stop falling quickly!
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