1.Continually exercise using different patterns and planes of movement
I have stressed this point numerous times over the years. Yet I rarely see it being done consistently. Muscles and joints have the ability to move in 3 planes of motion, yet most exercise programs only use straight forward and back single (sagittal)plane movement patterns. All joints and muscles can move sideways, left-right, forward-backward and they can rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Unfortunately, traditional training that exclusively uses machines and gravity dependent free weights can’t accommodate multi-plane training. Therefore, over time we wear out joints and create muscle imbalances that lead to overuse injury. Band training allows individuals to move anyway they wish to move while challenging muscles and joints with a variable ascending resistance that is adaptable to any strength level. As a result, the muscles and joints do not get overused in one pattern.
2. Be willing to change up speeds
A body that moves at the same slow speed eventually loses the ability to move at faster speeds. This is why you see very few 40 and older individuals able to move quickly or run at different speeds. Being able to move at different speeds improves balance and creates faster muscle reaction time. These are both keys to better balance, avoiding falls or being injured when awkward movements come our way.
3. Think movements, not just muscles
Traditional training constantly emphasises muscles versus movements. Just open up a fitness magazine and you will see workouts for a better chest, arms and legs but rarely do you see a workout for better pushing, pulling or squatting.
The fact is as your body ages, being able to push, pull or lunge in multiple directions is going to be far more important to you than building your chest, back and legs. I promise if you can lunge multiple ways, you will have great looking legs. Obviously the same will be true for the chest and back. Fortunately with resistance band training you can push, pull and lunge in all directions.
4. Be willing to take weight off
How much weight do you need to lift to be considered strong for your age?? I can’t answer that but if you can continue to squat, lunge, do a push up, press weight overhead and pull yourself off the floor for multiple reps, you are better than most of the people who are between the ages of 30 and 50.
Seriously…less than 20% of the population is involved in an exercise program and of that 20%, I suspect at least 70% can’t perform a good push up, squat or incline pull up.
So if how much weight (resistance) you lift is not as important, then band resistance — which allows you to strength train any movement — is going to keep your body strong while training it using movements that will better help you handle life. In other words, it’s not so important what the weight is on the bar but rather how the resistance you are working with keeps you safely doing activities at 50 that you could do at 30.
5. Commit to mobility & stability training
Your body is going to start to lose flexibility and mobility as your age. Get over it, accept it and start doing something about it every day. The #1 key to 50 being the new 30 is going to be how flexible your body is and how mobile (stability with flexibility) it is. Strength is great but strength without flexibility and stability is a body that can’t move, feels stiff and is prone to injury.
Moving well must be the first priority to keeping a body that’s 50 feeling like 30. Bands stretch and stabilise your body by using elastic resistance that lengthens, strengthens and stabilises muscles at their weakest points in the range of motion. As long as you maintain tension on the band system, your muscles will get longer, stronger and joints will become more stable on every rep.
If you understand how the body ages and what physical changes will occur with age, it becomes very apparent that following traditional strength training approaches is not going to help address most of these age-driven changes. The good news is that all of these age-related changes affect structures like muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints which can be dramatically influenced by incorporating the right type of exercises and workout plan.