Challenging four element full body workout with modifications for seniors

Last Friday while attending a Group Step Aerobics class, I thought of and later found,  in the Men’s Health magazine, extra elements that would make a good fifteen minute workout. Our warm up two step-touch could be replaced with In-place weight shift (Heidens). Next add three more movements to make a four element circuit that could be repeated for a full fifteen minutes.
In-place weight shift
Stand with your hips pushed back and knees slightly bent. Dip  your knees slightly, and then shift weight off your right leg, swinging your arms and moving to your left. Shift weight to your left foot. Pause, and then reverse the movement to the right. Repeat movement for 15 to 30 seconds. After building strength and balance, try jumping off the right foot, as in the picture, and sticking the landing with the left foot.


Dumbbell goblet squat with pulse. Hold a dumbbell vertically at chest level, using both hands to cup one end of the weight. Brace your abs and lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, and press the weight in front of you until your arms are fully extended. Bring it back to your chest and stand up. Do 4 to 10 reps.

Spider-man pushup

Assume a standard push up position, your body aligned from ankles to head (modify by using knees to head). As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot, swing your right leg out sideways, and try to touch your knee to your elbow. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg, Do 5 to 6 reps with each leg. Modify with kneeling pushups.


Place a towel on the floor. and assume a plank position with your feet on the towel. Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes, and then “push” yourself backward with your upper arms, with your feet sliding the towel. You’ll feel your core engage. Now return to the starting position, If your hips sag, you’ve pushed too far. Do 8 to 10 reps. Modify with 2 to 4 reps

Perform all four exercises as a circuit. Rest only after completing each circuit, for 60 to 90 seconds, modify with 2 to 3 minute rests. Repeat until your 15 minutes are up.

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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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2 Responses to Challenging four element full body workout with modifications for seniors

  1. joan says:

    I think these may be hard for many seniors!! I will try some.

  2. Vic says:

    You are correct, these are challenging. Be careful with the In-place Heidens. You may want to only shift your weight from one foot to the other with a pause. This is a good balance exercise without the hopping. Osteoarthritis of the knees precludes jumping, hopping, etc.

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