One question I often get as a personal trainer for seniors is, how do I get a flatter stomach or what are good core exercises for seniors? In order to answer the first question, a lot has to do with your diet, how you eat, are you on medications that slow down your metabolism and other lifestyle habits. The second question is essential on the grounds that while it may help you get a flatter stomach, there are other tremendous benefits of core exercises for seniors such as a reduction in back pain. If you have had back pain, then you know why having a strong core is essential. While I could give you many core exercises, here are my favourites.
- Plank – The plank is one of my favourite exercises because it trains you to do what your core should do, which is to add stability. Ideally, you ought to have the capacity to hold your body from your head to your feet in a straight line with your core engaged the whole time. I recommend that you build your way up to doing a 1minute plank. When you can hold a plank for at least 1 minute you can add other variables like lifting an arm or leg.
- Side Plank- I like to call the side plank the anti-rotation exercise. Side planks are great for your core because similarly to the Front plank, they stabilize but from a different angle. The key to doing good side plank is making sure that your body is straight from your knees or toes to your head. Try to build up to holding a side plank for at least 30 seconds on each side.
- Bird dog- The bird dog when appropriately done, highlights the imbalances you may have on your back and stomach muscles. Like the plank, try to build up to holding for 1 minute, but also make sure your back leg and arm are fully extended.