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by Big Jim

Golf and Strength? HUH??

October 23, 2012 in Strength Training

Golfers aren't athletes so strength training won't help their game…right?
Wrong- If you're a golfer, your swing can be improved with Proper Strength Training and this is true whether you are an amateur or on the Pro Am Tour!

Strength, Power, flexibility, agility, and even endurance are physical traits that every golfer must possess.

It was once noted that golfers are not athletic therefore they do not need fitness as a component to their golf-game. That statement is just as absurd as the practice of coaches during the 1950's and 1960's not letting their players drink water during practice because it developed mental toughness.

For years I have observed in amazement the injuries that occur with the golf enthusiast. Injuries such as elbow tendonitis, knee injuries, hip injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries and the most de-habilitating of all, an injured low back.

From a pure fitness point of view, there are tow (2) key factors that not only will improve a golfer's functional performance but will also reduce their potential for injury. Increased muscular strength and increased flexibility will give any golfer the potential to play a better game of golf and for many more years.

At a recent national golf conference, the statement was made 'currently golf technology has peaked and now the golfer had better seek out and pursue a proper golf fitness program.

Now, regardless of your age or your skill level, you will be surprised what a proper strength and flexibility program incorporated into your weekly schedule will do for your golf game. At www.properstrenthtraining.com we have the programs for golfers that are seriously improving their golf game!

by Big Jim

Top Ten Reasons to Exercise

October 23, 2012 in Growing Old Slowly

Top Ten Reasons Proper Strength Training is a Requirement for a "Better Quality of Life"

By Jim Flanagan

As we get older (chronologically), we do not have to speed up the body's aging process by settling into a sedentary lifestyle. Quite the contrary-we need to continue to exercise or begin an exercise program, but not just any exercise program (and there are a lot of them out there). Rather, we need to 'Proper Strength Train' to increase our ability to have a 'Better Quality of Life'. Let's investigate why:

Note: Please obtain clearance from your physician prior to beginning a new exercise program.

1. Aging Bio-Factor: Loss of Muscle Mass & Strength

Aging Bio Fact: After age 40, there is a potential for 1% loss of muscle mass per year

Quality of Life Issues: Lifting objects; Climbing stairs; Squatting and standing up; Reaching.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST can not help only retard the loss of muscle mass and strength, but when executed properly, can build muscle mass and strength.

2. Aging Bio-Factor: Loss of Flexibility

Aging Bio-Fact: A sedentary life style can actually increase stiffness, swelling, and pain in joints and reduce flexibility and increase the symptoms of osteoarthritis and chances for joint injury.

Quality of Life Issues: Bending, squatting, turning neck

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST will keep the joints, ligaments, and tendons flexible, strong, and pliable, reducing the chance for injury and preserving range of motion of the joint.

3. Aging Bio-Factor: Loss of Bone Density

Aging Bio-Fact: After age 35 (and particularly after menopause in women), the bone reabsorption process outpaces the bone formation process starting a slow loss of bone density which can lead to conditions of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Quality of Life Issues: Loss of height and posture and the increased chance for small fractures of the spine, hip, and wrist bones which compromise our ability to move our limbs, walk, and do daily activities.

Proper Strength Training Solution: It has been proven that with proper diet and 'proper strength training', bone mass can be increased at most any age and reduce the chance for fractures.

4. Aging Bio-Factor: Increased Ratio of Fat to Muscle (BMI)

Aging Bio-Fact: As we age, our BMI (Body-Mass Index) may increase due to poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetics.

Quality of Life Issues: Increased chance for serious disorders such as cardio-vascular disease, type II diabetes, and joint disorders.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST and a healthy diet can reduce your BMI and reduce your chance for serious health disorders and reduce the stress on the joints.

5. Aging Bio-Factor:Loss of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Aging Bio-Fact: After age 35, there is a reduction in BMR and a probability of an increase in fat to muscle ratio.

Quality of Life Issues: Reduction of physical activity which can further lead to a sedentary lifestyle and serious health disorders with the increase of fat to muscle ratio.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST when executed safely and properly is also a good form of cardio exercise which can increase metabolism and when combined with a healthy diet, can increase your BMR and energy level which can lead to a healthy outlook on life.

6. Aging Bio-Factor: Decrease in Cognitive Thinking Ability

Aging Bio-Fact: Decrease in Cognitive Thinking Ability may occur with increase in age as a result of becoming more sedentary and eating an unhealthy diet.

Quality of Life Issue: Loss of memory and cognitive thinking can lead to: pre-mature retirement and loss of income because you cannot perform job duties; a challenge to live alone; loss of ability to drive your car; a potential for accident and injury because you cannot think logically.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST when executed safely and properly, can actually stimulate areas of the brain which may conserve and increase Cognitive Thinking Ability.

7. Aging Bio-Factor: Decrease in Cardio/Lung Capacity

Aging Bio-Fact: Aging occurs throughout the body in both skeletal and smooth muscle at different rates, including the smooth heart muscle.

Quality of Life Issue: Multiple issues including serious cardio-vascular diseases; shortness of breath; reduction in active lifestyle; disability and premature retirement; premature death.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST exercise throughout your lifespan or started with your physician's approval late in life, may reduce your chance for cardio-vascular diseases and increase your lung capacity.

8. Aging Bio-Factor: Increased Blood Sugar Levels

Aging Bio-Fact: Incidences of Adult onset Type II Diabetes is on the rise due to unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices, and genetics.

Quality of Life Issue: Under care of a physician is usually controlled by diet or diet and insulin medications, however when not under control can lead to serious health issues such as loss of sight, serious circulation issues which can lead to limb amputation; disability, premature retirement and death.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST studies of adults with Type II Diabetes who in combo with healthy diet choices and 'proper strength training' 2 or 3 times per week for 30 minutes/session have shown a reduction in their blood sugar levels, weight loss, and some patients have been able to stop using medication due to a return to blood sugar in normal range.

9. Aging Bio Factor: Increased Blood Cholesterol Levels

Aging Bio-Fact: Incidences of Increased Blood Cholesterol Level (Hyperlipidemia) is on the rise in adults due to unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices, none or little proper exercise programs, and genetics.

Quality of Life Issue: Under the care of a physician is usually controlled by diet or diet and cholesterol reducing medications referred to as 'statins' however when not under control, can lead to serious health issues such as heart attacks and strokes which can produce disability, premature retirement and death.

Proper Strength Training Solution: PST studies of adults with high blood cholesterol levels who in combo with healthy diet choices, medication, and 'proper strength training' 2 or 3 times per week for 30 minutes/session have shown a reduction have shown an improvement in their blood Cholesterol levels and some patients have been able to stop using medication due to a return to blood cholesterol in normal range.

10. Aging Bio-Factor: Elevated Blood Pressure in unhealthy range

Aging Bio-Fact: Incidences of Elevated Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is on the rise in adults due to unhealthy diets and lifestyle choices, and genetics.

Quality of Life Issue: Under the care of a physician is usually controlled by diet or diet and cholesterol reducing medications referred to a 'statins' however when not under control, can lead to serious health issues such as heart attacks and strokes which can produce disability, premature retirement and death.

Proper Strength Training Solution:PST studies of adults with elevated or high blood pressure who in combo with healthy diet choices, medication, and 'proper strength training' 2 or 3 times per week for 30 minutes/session have shown a reduction have shown an improvement in their blood pressure levels and some patients have been able to stop using medication due to return to blood pressure in normal range.

by Big Jim

Top Ten Muscles That We CANNOT ignore

October 23, 2012 in Growing Old Slowly

 

Top Ten Muscles That Will Cause Quality of Life Issues If Not Exercised Regularly With Proper Strength Training

By Jim Flanagan

Most people, at any age, have a desire to remain strong and healthy so we can take care of ourselves and not rely on others. As we age, our muscles will tend to atrophy (waste away) if not exercised and will not remain strong and flexible unless you Proper Strength Train.A good statement that is easy to remember is 'if you don't use it, you'll lose it!' In the human body you have somewhere between 656 to 850 'Skeletal Muscles', depending on whether or not they are named as a single muscles or in groups. Since no muscle is insignificant, some large and small muscles are considered very important because they keep you mobile and ultimately self-sufficient. There are Ten Muscles/Muscle Groups that are vital for a better quality of life and must be exercised regularly with Proper Strength Training to remain strong and flexible. The list below contains the name of muscle, medical name, and general purpose:

1.Muscle:Low Back (Erector Spinae)

Anatomical Purpose: Maintains upright posture; Bending from waist; Lifting

Bio-fact:If the small muscles of the low back are not isolated and exercised, they will atrophy and become weakened. Weak low back muscles are susceptible to injury which creates low back pain (the #1 cause of lost work days and disability claims, and premature retirement and loss of income) and will affect your posture and you may 'start losing height.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the low back muscles by doing squats and abdominal crunches will strengthen these muscles for lifting and bending, preserve your posture, and help to prevent low back strains.

2.Muscle: Muscle Knee/Thigh-Quadriceps (Thigh) and Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, Semitendinosis, and Semimembranosus)-

Anatomical Purpose:Walking, squatting, climbing, swimming, sitting and sitting/rising from chair

Bio-Fact: If the large muscles of the thigh and the hamstrings are not exercised with proper strength training, they will eventually atrophy and weaken, then you will have problems getting in and out of chairs and your car. Walking up and down stairs will be difficult as well as running, climbing, and even swimming. Lifting heavy objects by squatting will become difficult and then impossible.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the thigh muscles by doing full body squats and leg curls will strengthen these muscles and increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which helps burn body fat.You will be able to continue participating in the sports and the day-to-day activities you are currently involved in for more productive years and reduce your chances for injury.

3.Muscle: Hips (Buttocks)

Anatomical Purpose:Walking, running, squatting, climbing, swimming, sitting and rising from chair

Bio-Fact: If the large muscles of the hips are not exercised with proper strength training, they will weaken and you will have problems of mobility from a simple task of walking to the complicated tasks of swimming, running or climbing stairs. The hips also assist the legs when lifting heavy objects.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the hips (buttocks) by doing full body squats you not only strength the thigh but the hips, too. The hip is essential in all movements that keep you mobile and by strengthening the hip, you reduce the chances for hip injury and enables you to can continue your normal activities of walking, running, swimming, and climbing up and down stairs.

4.Muscle: Back of Upper Arm (Triceps)

Anatomical Purpose: Reaching and lifting overhead; Pushing up the body from sitting or prone position.

Bio-Fact: If the small muscles of the upper arm are not exercised with proper strength training, they will weaken and atrophy, causing even common tasks such as lifting and reaching overhead will become difficult.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the triceps by doing push-ups, pull-ups, triceps extensions or seated dips on a chair will strengthen the muscles and allow you to continue to do normal upper body activities such as reaching and lifting objects overhead.

5.Muscle: Neck (Anterior Flexion, Posterior Extension Lateral Flexion-Left & Right)

Anatomical Purpose: Elevation of Shoulders; Rotation of Head

Bio-Fact:If the small muscles of the neck are extremely prone to injury when not exercised with proper strength training.

Neck injury is both painful and dangerous because the muscles protect the vertebrae of the cervical spine.The neck muscles will eventually weaken and atrophy to the point that muscle stiffness will occur and you may not be able to rotate the head with ease.

Proper Strength Training Solution:Proper Strength Training of the small muscles of the neck by doing safe and slow exercises such as neck manual resistance can strengthen and keep you head mobile and upright and help prevent injury.

6.Muscle: Shoulder (Rotator Cuff) and Upper Back or 'Lats' (Latisimus Dorsi)

Anatomical Purpose: Elevation of Arm at various angles; Pushing and pulling

Bio-Fact:If the small muscles of the shoulder (rotator cuff) are very prone to injury and is a very painful condition. Common tasks such as lifting the arm will be difficult and painful if these muscles are not strength trained. If upper back called the 'lats' are not proper strength trained, they will become weakened, atrophy, and prone to injury causing less mobility of the upper body

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the shoulder and upper back with exercises such as shoulder press or overhead press, rowing, lat pull downs,and seated towel or rope pulls (with a workout partner) can help strengthen these muscles and keep your upper body mobile and ultimately help preventinjury.

7.Muscle: Stomach or Abdominal (Abdominal rectus)

Anatomical Purpose: Stabilizing Torso or Trunk and exercising Thoracic Diaphragm

Bio-Fact:If the small muscles of the abdomen are not exercised, the small back muscles will weaken and atrophy and you will not be able to keep upright or bend.The abdominals also move the diaphragm (thick sheet of muscle over upper abdomen) which controls breathing and ultimately speaking and singing.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the abdominal muscles with exercises such as sit-ups or 'crunches' with resistance from a workout partner will notonly help to keep your upright with good posture but you will have a pleasing appearance and the small back muscles will strengthen, too.

8.Muscle: Chest or 'Pecs' (Pectoralis Major and Minor)

Anatomical Purpose: Abduction and Adduction of the arms; Pushing and pulling; Lifting and reaching overhead

Bio-Fact: If the small muscles of the chest are not proper strength trained, they will weaken and atrophy and simple tasks such as pushing a vacuum or broom will become difficult. Lifting and reaching for objects overhead in your kitchen or garage will become impossible and you will require assistance.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the chest or 'pecs' with exercises such as the chestpress machine or chest flies on a bench with dumbbells or hand weighs will not only help you keep a pleasing appearance but will help you keep the upper body mobile and strong.

9.Muscle: Front of upper arm (Biceps)

Anatomical Purpose: Supinates (turns) Hand; Flexes and Elevates the arm

Bio-Fact: If the small muscles of the biceps are not proper strength trained, simple tasks such as turning the hand or lifting objects will be difficult.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the biceps with exercises such as biceps curls with resistance on a machine or bench with dumbbells can strengthen the biceps and keep it flexible so you can elevate the arm and lift objects. Push-ups also exercise the biceps and will elevate your metabolism as well as strengthening the muscles.

10.Muscle: Calf and lower leg (Gastrocnemius and Soleus)

Anatomical Purpose: Dorsi and plantar flexion of the foot for walking and running; keeps Achilles Heel flexible.

Bio-Fact: If the small muscles of the lower leg are not exercised, they will weaken and atrophy and your regular activities such as walking briskly or participating in sports will become difficult. The biceps also help retain the flexibility of the Achilles Tendon on the back of the foot and ankle which is responsible for flexing the foot.

Proper Strength Training Solution: Proper Strength Training of the lower leg with exercises such as calf raises on a machine or heel raises with your body weight on stairs will strength the muscles and give the lower leg a pleasing appearance. Flexibility of the foot for walking and running will be improved which will help you remain mobile and give you the ability to continue with your daily activities and sports.

by Big Jim

Top Ten Ways to Proper Strength Train Anywhere, Anytime without any Special Equipment

October 23, 2012 in Strength Training

By Jim Flanagan

Proper Strength Training is the most important form exercise that will keep your muscles strong and flexible. With a healthy diet and two or three 30 minute sessions a week of proper strength training, you can actually build muscle and increase your strength.Some of these exercises are more effective with a 'buddy' or training partner and always be ready to create, improvise, and adjust your routines in order to produce meaning results. If you do not have a set of barbells and dumbbells, you can fill a pint or quart plastic milk container with a handle with sand to use as hand weights which will provide greater resistance. Resistance produces a force which will stimulate a muscle to work and ultimately grow. Start with as many repetitions you can do until you 'fail' and cannot complete any more reps. Try to increase the number of reps in each session and keep accurate records.

1.Body weight squats (performed with back against wall for stability)

2.Body weight push-ups or add manual resistance with training partner.

3.Body weight lunges or add Barbells, dumbbells, or homemade hand weights for greater resistance

4.Body weight sit-upsor add manual resistance with training partner

5.Seated towel pulls (manual resistance with training partner seated opposite)

6.Shrugs with added Barbells, dumbbells, or homemade hand weights for greater resistance

7.Seated Dips using sturdy chair

8.Manual Neck Exercises using heel of your hand for resistance

9.Heel Raises on stairs or on stable 2 X 6 or 2 X 8

10.Triceps Extension with added Barbells, Dumbbells, or homemade hand weights for greater resistance


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