Insights on balance – By Mark Thompson

I have been a Personal Trainer for over 7 years now and something has crossed my mind frequently since moving to MWFitness. Do we only train people to lose weight or build muscle? What about specific goals such as balance and how does age effect our goals?

The answer. Of course not!! That would be ridiculous but it is what some people believe!

I’ve had a much more varied role at MWFitness since I joined and it has really opened my eyes to a variety of other motivations and goals! This then led on to me thinking about other client’s priorities and what they want to achieve from training here more than I already do.

It’s fair to say that our demographic of clients is slightly older than that of your standard gym where younger generations generally pay for a membership and go and do their own thing. Here at the studio our clients like the accountability we provide and especially the knowledge we can impart on to them. After all some of our members haven’t done any exercise for a long time (or at all in a specific environment such as a studio/gym) and are after a guiding hand, maybe after an injury or operation.

One such client has recently come to see me after a hip replacement and wanted to use a Personal Trainer (PT) to guide her through her rehab. Sessions started off very lightly to mobilise the joint and get back range of motion and simple movements. Over time the intensity has increased and we now do weighted exercises as well as plyometric exercises. In fact the joint now reacts about 90% as well as the un-operated side! Although one factor hasn’t made the same progress, her balance, which has made much slower progress.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress, however with this clients goal of being able to ski as well as she possibly could after the operation it’s become apparent that some focused training was needed. After just 2 weeks of this focused training we have made enough progress to be able to spend time on an upturned BosuBall (essentially half a SwissBall that’s very unstable) whilst performing arm exercises.

An upturned Bosu Ball

An upturned Bosu Ball

This got me thinking about life in general, for which I have a series of “exercises” I think everyone should be able to perform to have a good quality of life and ability to perform day-to-day activities.

Should we work on different fitness criteria, as we get older?

I have my own opinion on that question, however I will leave you all to formulate your own conclusion. But in a world where we have all probably got experience of an elderly member of our own, or another, family having a fear of falling, surely it bears some consideration?