The Most Important Exercise To Master

I know most of you are wondering what could this exercise be, and why would I call it the most important to master. Well I call this exercise the most important, partly to peak your curiosity but mostly because I have seen the difference in the way people move when they do it well. The good thing for all of us is that I am not suggesting you do a movement that your are not already familiar with. The specific exercise that I think can change lives and how people move is a squat. Being able to correctly squat is very important for all of us becuase of its functional nature like standing up from a seated position or getting up from a toilet. To go even further on the importance of a squat when people are muscularly imbalanced, I have witnessed how it effects something we often take for granted like walking. Below I will share a 3 common problems that people may have with squatting and some practical easy solutions.

  1. Heels lifting off Ground- Usually when someone has trouble keeping their heels on the ground while squatting it means they have limited range of motion in their ankles. Often the culprit for limited range of motion in the ankles comes from having tight calves. If you walk a lot, wear high heels or are on your feet a lot, tight calves probably will influence how you squat. A simple correction is to stretch your calves, here is one stretch I always have my senior fitness classes in Toronto do. Try holding this stretch for 30 seconds on each leg.

2. Knees falling in- Your gluteus medius is important because it helps keep your knees from falling inward while squatting. Those are the muscles that are also heavily linked to balance. To strengthen your gluteus medius a good exercise is those Jane Fonda type exercise where you lie down on your side and lift the top leg up and down. Try doing at least 20–30 repititions on each leg.

  1. Body leans forward- Since many of us spend countless hours sitting down, often times this leads to tight hip flexors. When your hip flexors are tight it usually restricts you from maintaing an upright position when squatting. An easy stretch that most people should do is a hip flexor stretch to loosen up their hips. Try this stretch for 30–60 seconds.

By being a Senior Personal Trainer in Toronto, I often have people tell me why certain exercises give them trouble. Sometimes because of conditions like Arthritis or Osteoporosis we may have to work around physical issues, but more often than not, with a few simple corrections we can master, these most important exericses. If you liked this article please click on the green heart at the bottom of the page. Thank you

About the Author: Eric Daw is an Older Adult specialist and the Owner of Omni-Fitt. Omni-Fitt is committed to the health of seniors through fitness and all areas of wellness. Eric motivates and encourages seniors in Toronto to take responsibility through positive mentoring experiences. You can find Eric’s work at Omni-Fitt or follow him on Facebook