Is it too late to start squatting?

After years of a sedentary life style, seniors often feel that it is too late to start working on squatting especially when they are experiencing symptoms of Osteoarthritis.   It’s all too easy to link the pain that comes with certain functional exercises with a whole list of things we think we should not be doing. Inactivity from pain or a sedentary life style, will soon lead to decrepitude and dependence on others. If or when my doctor suggests I see an Orthopedic Surgeon for a knee replacement, I need to be strengthening all the muscles around my old painful knee to accelerate the recovery process. It would be a real shame to spend all that money I saved for my new sports car on a new titanium knee joint and then not be able to use it.

 

If I experience pain while getting up from my favorite chair, I need to tell my doctor and a personal trainer so they can work out appropriate exercises to maintain and develop additional strength in the muscles surrounding my knees. They will likely suggest a straight back chair with one or two firm pillows on it so my knees stay less than a ninety degree angle. Starting with two sets of five squats and working up to three sets of twenty three times per week over a one month period will get you on your way to strong legs and good posture.

A correct squat has:

  • Feet shoulder width or more with toes pointing out at 30 degrees
  • Weight mostly on the heels
  • Knees tracking in line with the feet and never forward of the toes
  • Core tight (shoulder blades back and down, the belly button up and in) throughout the squat

When we squat or bend, we need to do so from the hips and the knees, not at the waist.

Squats are basic and a fundamental part of a normal life. Without the ability to squat I am greatly handicapped and dependent upon others. No it is never too late to start squatting.


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About Vic

As a retired Commercial/Missionary pilot and administrator, I started taking SilverSneakers® classes in 2007. Although I had kept up minimal jogging and biking, I had little lean body mass and extra fat, so I started lifting weights and joined a Group Power barbell class. Later I was challenged to use free weights for heavier lifting and body weight exercises for flexibility and functional fitness. The SilverSneakers® Coordinator asked if I would train to teach the class. Little did I realize that it would take almost a year, four classes, a practical evaluation, plus an on-line 100 question test, to complete the certification. I am still impressed with the research and years of practical experience that has gone into the SilverSneakers® model.
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One Response to Is it too late to start squatting?

  1. joan says:

    I did leg exercises before my knee surgery (1/2 knee replacement) and the physical therapist was amazed how well I could do right after the surgery.

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