Can you get a “six pack” at age 50, 60, or even 70? The answer is a resounding — probably? If you are really out of shape, don’t count on finding that six pack anytime soon. So is it worth working your abdominal muscles, hips, torso, and lower back, if you aren’t going to see the results anytime soon.?
Most seniors would have no use for “body builder” style abdominal muscles anyway. How many 60 year old men or women go strutting around the swimming pool or down the beach expecting people to marvel at your six pack? Actually, I have seen a few here and there.
Six pack abs used to be a strictly male “thing”. But over the last fifteen years or so, strong “showy” abs have become a prime indicator of female health and fitness too. Programs like Crossfit, Boot Camps, Pilates and even the expansion of Yoga into the mainstream, have stressed the importance of fitness for everyone. There are many “Masters” athletic events for seniors, with more being added every year. All of these require a strong core.
When you decide you want to get fitter and start an exercise program, where is a good place to start? My suggestion would be to start with the muscle group that gives you the most leverage with the rest of your body. That would be the lumbar-hip-abdominal complex, commonly known as “your core”. Why start there?
Simply stated, your core area is critical to any form of physical movement. The core area is the “first mover” of just about any physical effort you make, no matter how slight. Here are some general thoughts on having a strong core:
- A strong midsection makes all movement easier.
- Ever wonder why the millitary shouts “Hoorah!” or “Oohrah!” ? Try shouting those words with power, energy and enthusiasm. Press your hand against your abdominal muscles as you say the words and as you powerfully expel the air from your lungs. You can feel the power they bring into your abdominal muscles and how that power radiates throughout your body. Martial artists do the same thing.
- A strong midsection can help prevent falls.
- “Feel good” chemicals are released into your body when work your core hard. You feel dramatically stronger both mentally and physically after a good session of “corepower” exercises. “Corepower”? Hey I like that term. I thought I just made it up but “corepower.com” and a “corepoweryoga.com” already exist online. Darn!
- A strong core energizes you.
- A strong core helps you maintain good posture as you get older.
- It helps prevent back pain. Core exercises will not necessarily eliminate back pain, but they will help prevent it.
- And on and on . . .
When you begin a new exercise program, remember it will take a while to develop those six pack abs. If you are overweight, you’ll have to “free the fat” first. But if you continue with a sound exercise program for your core, that six pack will likely start to appear a few months down the road. In the meantime, you will build a strong core and begin to reap all the other benefits I mentioned above.
So what core exercises should you do? You can find some good ones here: Ebook-Core and Abs2.
Thank you for reading.