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Strength Training for Older Adults Part 2: Upper 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. Barbell training and other forms of resistance provide opportunities to strengthen muscles in patterns similar to those used by individuals every day. In part one, we explored lower body specific movements. In part two, we will discuss upper body movements and provide information how to teach, progress and modify these functional strength training movements 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. Review of Exercise Prescription

    1. Review of Exercise 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 Push Up

    2. The Push Up

    In this chapter we will discuss ways of strengthening the chest muscles and to train pushing something away from the body. Many older adults cannot perform a standard push up and so are given wall push ups with no progression. Here we give you safe ways to challenge the push movement.

  3. The Overhead Press

    3. The Overhead Press

    Many times, older adults lose the ability to reach overhead. This can impact their lives as they now have difficulty reaching for objects on high shelves. This chapter will look at when it is appropriate to promote overhead lifting and if appropriate, how to teach, modify and progress this movement in older adults.

  4. The Barbell Row

    4. The Barbell Row

    With time, our posture can deteriorate. We see the rolling in shoulders, tight pecs and subsequent weak upper back extensors. The row is a fundamental movement for upper back strength. In this course, we will teach clinicians how and when to prescribe a rowing movement for older adults and modifications and progressions to make it safe for persons of all levels.