Strength Training for Older Adults Part 1: Lower Body Major Lifts

presented by Christina Prevett

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As a person ages, there is a gradual decline in muscle mass, strength and power. Strength training is an important intervention for mitigating the decline in muscle mass allowing older adults to maintain physical function and independence. However, often strength training is under-dosed and underutilized. Barbell training and other forms of resistance provide opportunities to strengthen muscles in patterns similar to those used by individuals every day. This course will discuss how to teach, progress and modify a functional strength training program for the older adult.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Christina Prevett, MScPT, CSCS, PhD(c)

    Christina is a Registered Physiotherapist in Ontario Canada receiving Masters of Physiotherapy at McMaster University in 2013. After graduation, she gained experience working in both the public and private sectors in outpatient orthopaedics focusing on exercise and soft tissue based therapies for the relief of muscle aches and pains. She is a believer in the strength of exercise for rehabilitation, especially with older adults. This passion led her to begin her PhD in 2015 in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Ada Tang. Her doctoral studies look at the utilization of strength training principles for healthy aging and prevention of disability. She is the co-owner of STAVE OFF Physiotherapy & Exercise Facility which focuses on rehab but also health and wellness for persons at any age.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Strength Training Prescription

    1. Strength Training Prescription

    This chapter will discuss variables to consider when prescribing exercise dosages for older adults. We will briefly describe the differences between speed, strength and power and when this would be utilized in a geriatric population.

  2. The Squat

    2. The Squat

    The squat or sit to stand is one of the most functional movements for the lower body. The squat is important for activities of daily living such as bathing as well as trains all of the major muscles in the lower body. This chapter will provide progressions and methods to train this movement based on various baseline levels.

  3. The Deadlift

    3. The Deadlift

    Lifting objects off the ground is a movement pattern we perform on a daily basis. Teaching persons how to lift safely and also being strong enough to lift these objects properly are two means of avoiding injury or re-injury in older adults. This chapter will explore common misconceptions about the use of deadlifting as a safe practice, teach methods of demonstrating the deadlift movement pattern and identify ways of modifying the deadlift to cater to an individual’s level.