Seniors on the Ball!

This is a [Other] pattern from (pattern 15909)

Hey all!

Haven't seen too many submissions for seniors, so I thought I'd contribute one.

I teach a small but very strong group of senior citizens in Upper Manhattan, age range 70-92. I started out with the chair - formatted class that's become popular for seniors, but they were all so much stronger than that! So I introduced them to the stability/resistaballs and they ate it up. Here are a few exercises that help them connect with their core safely.

SET UP: have them place their balls against a wall and sit down on them facing you. Make sure the balls are in contact with the wall and be prepared to support and navigate anyone needing balance help as they lower themselves into a sitting position. (IMPORTANT: make sure the ball is inflated properly so that their legs are bent 90 degrees in a seated more, no less)

ACCLIMATION: gentle bouncing up and down/side to side - getting them used to sitting on an uneven surface.

EXERCISE #1: cue them to lift their right leg off the ground (for some this is going to be a real challenge; remind them to exhale on the lift). Replace right and lift left (they only have to hold it long enough to be successful... ).
Now repeat the right leg lift, adding a left arm extension.
Repeat with left leg lift, right arm extension.
Repeat right leg lift, both arms extended/then raised overhead.
Repeat left leg lift, both arms extended/then raised overhead.

VARIATIONS: advanced seniors can attempt this without wall support OR in a standing position, trapping the ball against the wall with middle back. ALSO: if you have a very debilitated or deconditioned senior, this routine can be done in a chair, while others are on a ball.

Most senior citizens have had little or no experience with the idea of "core", yet, it is a strong core that is going to help them not lose their balance and take that hip-breaking fall.

PAYBACK: they love bouncing on the ball!

EXERCISE#2: this is an eye/hand co-ordination/mild cardio exercise.

First routine: obstacle course: arrange chairs/steps in a winding pattern thrughout room, with enough room to walk between and around. Cue members to start bouncing the ball with their dominant hand and lead them like the pied piper around the room, in and out of the chairs. At anytime, call out to change hands. And continue switching back and forth. They have to keep the ball bouncing/listen for cues, and travel around obstacles simultaneously!

Second routine: standing in a circle, assign each senior a number (based on class attendance) the most I ever have is 10 particpants so everyone gets a number 1 through 10. Cue them to bounce the ball in a stationary position (both hands/one hand, their choice). Cue them to catch the ball when they hear their number called, but everyone else must keep bouncing. After a round or two of single number calls, start with grouping the numbers: ("1 and 4" "2 and 6" "5,6,7" etc.) this is an excellent option if routine #1 is too strenuous. Both routines can be done in the chair as well.

PAYBACK: they love to bounce the ball!

Please contact me with questions!

Added by Kyle at 10:53 AM on Thursday, June 15, 2006 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: Manhattan, New York (USA)
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