I use both a half and full foam roller for calf stretching and balance work. If you don’t have half roller, stand on the floor. If you don’t have a full foam roller you can practice the balance section on the half roll alone. It is also possible to do the exercises without rollers.
Use your full foam roller to open the chest and release tension in the upper back and shoulders. We are a society of people who look at our Smartphones and stare at computer screens. This tends to lead to poor posture and neck/shoulder strain. This rolling sequence helps to address this tightness. Discontinue immediately if you feel any strain in your neck or back using the foam roller. White foam rollers can be less intense on the upper back and shoulders.
Series of abdominal work that strengthens your core without requiring a head lift. I find many people feel strain when lifting their head off the mat. This sequence integrates breathing with abdominal engagement through preparatory abdominal isolation and Pilates mat exercises.
One of the gals from class asked me to post this weight workout from a recent group in person/Zoom class so she could repeat it. It contains upper body strengthening, arm range of motion with weights, balance work, and finishes with arm stretching.
This hip series takes the hip through its range of motion of external rotation, internal rotation, abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, and circumduction. If we want our hip joints to function optimally, we need to put them through their full range of movement possibility. These kinds of movements can strengthen hip muscles and help improve bone density as well.
According to a March 2014 article from Harvard Health Publishing,
“The chances of developing osteoporosis vary with age, body type, estrogen levels, genetic makeup, ethnicity, lifestyle, level of physical activity, diet, and certain medical conditions. Women are especially vulnerable because they lose bone at an accelerated rate during the first few years after menopause. Along with adequate calcium and vitamin D, exercise is a cornerstone of osteoporosis prevention. It not only helps limit bone loss but also improves balance and coordination and strengthens the muscles we rely on to stay upright. This provides a hedge against falls — one of the main causes of fractures.”
I recommend and do these Theraband leg stretches myself on a regular basis. They loosen the hips and stretch the legs on the inside, back and outside. You can feel the improved circulation where the legs just feel more alive afterwards. I posted a previous blog with photos and a written description of these stretches.
Arms should be able to reach in diagonal lines forward and back with scapular connection at the ribcage in the back. Sometimes the movement becomes stuck, and we lose the gliding action of the arm causing pain at the shoulder or loss of range. To bring the functional arm movement pattern back it is easier to practice in a side-lying position, as gravity works in your favor to keep the movement smooth.
This video is for my dad and whomever else can benefit. If all you do is walk for exercise, this will provide some supplementary range of motion and strength. Exercises are done with a chair and light weights (can use water bottles or cans). The balance work uses the chair for support. The camera was set a little low for the standing section (my apologies Dad), but you can still see what is happening well enough to follow along.
Series of leg strengthening exercises using a Theraband that address quads, adductors, abductors, hamstrings, and rotators followed by stretches. Can use a foam roller for the quads if desired.
Resistance training with Therabands can have an impact on bone development. According to Harvard Heath Newsletter Article “Exercise sampler: Building hip Strength”
When you put demands on bone, it responds by becoming stronger and denser. Bearing or resisting weight — any activity that works against gravity — stimulates the growth of new bone tissue. Your weight-bearing bones are mainly in your feet and legs and they respond to such activities as walking, jogging, playing soccer, and climbing stairs. Swimming is good for overall fitness, but it isn’t weight-bearing and thus does not improve bone mass or density.
Resistance training, or exercising with weights (see “Working with weights,” below) or resistance bands, can have an even more pronounced effect on bone than weight-bearing exercise. It applies stress to the bones by way of the muscles and tendons. As muscles grow stronger, they pull increasingly harder on bone, which helps build bone mass.
Another study cited in National Center for Biotechnology Information “Effects of Resistance Exercise on Bone Health” concluded that resistance exercise can be highly beneficial for the preservation of bone and muscle mass.
Series of neck, shoulder and arm stretches to limber up the upper body and improve range of motion. Use a towel or scarf for the neck stretches at the beginning. The remainder of the stretches focus on range of motion in the shoulders and arms.