Sarcopenia is defined as the age associated loss of strength and muscle mass. Sarcopenia affects us all, as we age. Starting as early as the mid to late 30’s, it is common to see a slow loss in strength. This gradual loss of strength is often associated with pain and eventually a loss of function. It appears that for men, the strength loss occurs at a greater rate than it does for our women counterparts.
This scenario is seen over and over in our clinic. Men will come into the clinic with some sort of pain. This is usually a pain that they have been dealing with for a long time. They come through our doors because the pain has gotten so bad that it is interfering with the things they want to do, like playing golf, tennis, or even working. Upon evaluation 2 things quickly become apparent:
- there is a loss of mobility
- lack of strength/stability
Strength loss can significantly affect your ability to do the things you like to do. If you have given up on some of your favorite activities, have trouble competing at the same level, or are looking to prevent this from happening to you, try strength training.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- To get stronger you need resistance exercises. Generally you should select a resistance that you are able to do about 8-12 repetitions.
- Slower is better than faster. Lift the weight slowly and with good control. This will help you recruit more muscle fiber and reduce chances of injury.
- Strength can be gained with as little as 1 set of an exercise, 1 to 2 times per week.
- Allow for enough recovery time between workouts. I like at least 48 hour recovery period. In general, the harder you work out the longer the recovery needed.
- Body weight exercises are great. Exercises like push ups, pull ups and bridges can be an effective, inexpensive option. Remember to perform the exercises slowly. If these are too hard to complete 8-12 reps, modify the exercise to make it easier.
- Weight machines are another way to get started with strength training. Use a variety of machines to promote muscle balance. Choose a resistance that you can complete 8-12 slow repetitions.
- Use good form and don’t work into pain.
- For best results you should consult a professional to specifically design your program. There are many things that go into effective strength training. A physical therapist or exercise physiologist are ideal to fit your specific needs.
For additional information on strength training or the programs here at Baudry Therapy Center please feel free to comment or contact our office at 504 841 0150.