Dad can't even do 1 sit up

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by dfoster, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    I'm with my folks this week and had to take my Dad to the emergency room. He fell while working in the garden and had a big gash above his eye. It turned out that this is the 4th time in 6 months that this happened.

    I observed his waking and saw him almost falling over a couple of times from stubbing his toes in the ground. It looks like his hip flexors and lower abs are weak because he doesn't raise his feet high enough. He also veers to the right side trying to stand up after squatting down for a while (working in the garden), picture the 'drunken master' in those kungfu video games that that's what he looks like. So his right leg is especially weak.

    For the lower-abs and hip-flexors, I have him doing standing knee lifts with adjustable ankle weights. For the right leg, static lunges. He's not strong enough for step-up or one-legged squat varieties, other wise they would have been ideal for his right leg. For general leg strength, body-weight squat (thank God he can still do them); also hip-adductor, kick-back and heel raises all with ankle weights. I also threw in standing one-legged balance exercises for good measure.

    Now for core strength, I was gonna have him do sit ups, side crunches and lower back exercises. When I asked him to try to sit up, he couldn't even get up to 30deg even with arms swinging for added assistance. This is really bad, considering that he moves big potted plants around all day and doesn't even have enough core strength for 1 sit up.How many sit ups should a healthy 70 year old man be able to do? So sit up routine becomes 'crunches' but he has to start somewhere.

    I even printed out a weekly workout log for him with pictures of those exercises next to the spaces to fill in for number of reps for them every single day for the next 6 months. I told mom to nag him every day until he logs them, something I know she won't let me down :icon_chee. So far he's been doing them religiously. I'm optimistic things will get better. Anyone here been in the same situation with an elderly relative? Any suggestion?
     
  2. magicman531

    magicman531 Try Sarah Topps Banned

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    I play ping pong with this 77 year old dude. He's pretty spry for that age. Push ups should help him, they'll strengthen the core and arms, chest, upper back, and the legs to a degree. Assuming he can work up to doing push ups that is. He could start being leaning against a wall almost vertically and pushing off that way. Then progressing further down until he's flat on the ground.
     
  3. Forcetti

    Forcetti Orange Belt

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    Try some planks, glute bridges, bird dogs...
     
  4. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    You're right, how could I forget push up. He used to teach me that as a kid. I think may I'll start with pushing ups with only the knees touching the ground or if not strong enough, pushing off vertical surfaces like you suggested.
     
  5. ChaseT.

    ChaseT. Banned Banned

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    Strength has much more to do with your level of physical activity than it does with your age. Here is a video of an 82 year old man bench pressing 320lbs:

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/mhuauUaz-54&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/mhuauUaz-54&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
     
  6. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Sounds good

    [​IMG]


    I also did these in rehab

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Yeah, I think that's the real reason behind him being so out of shape. He kept saying ' I'm an old man' when we talked about fitness. Someone had him believe that walking is good enough and that was all he did when he went to the gym.
     
  8. RedNeckJiuJitsu

    RedNeckJiuJitsu Black Belt

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    Most folks as they get older dont see a reason to push themselves and consequetly let themselves go instead.
     
  9. JPC

    JPC Purple Belt

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    It is my goal in life to die under the barbell, at a very old age.
     
  10. dexbot

    dexbot chest press = sexiness

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    In addition let your dad do those, they work magic in the stumbling-prevention-department:



    Toe Raises

    Stand upright with your toes over the ledge of a platform, weight or block. Hold on to a wall with one hand for balance, if you need to. Your toes should be extended as far out over the edge as you can, but maintain your posture and balance and keep your heels on the step or block.

    Pull your toes in toward your shins as far as you can. The rest of your body should remain upright, and you should feel the contraction around your shins. Hold for a second, then lower and repeat. Do up to three sets of 12 to 20 reps.
     
  11. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    I don't want to cause you worry, but this sounds a little like a "high stepping" gait disorder, where you can't dorsiflex (pull toes toward your head), so that you drag your toes on the ground.

    Did they do anything to test his walking at the ER or did they just treat his gash?
     
  12. The Colonel

    The Colonel Purple Belt

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    There was a really good article in the NY Times I read several months ago. Basically it has scientifically been proven that you're "as old as you feel". A lot of the elderly people who "let themselves go" just stopped trying, stopped being active, and their bodies just atrophied for it. I mean hell, when there are 80 year old who are running marathons and benching 320 and I'm 28 and can't do either of those things it tells you that you can stay physically active and improve despite your age.
     
  13. Lusst

    Lusst Red Belt

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    Gear whore.
     
  14. mmyers

    mmyers Orange Belt

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    For Core/abs Try some of those reistence rope things (the rubber tube things) and have him do an excercise already from the seated position so he would be pulling down and just compacting a bit at the end of the rep. That might help. I think any ab excercise from a seated position would be an easier motion to compress down rather the use his abs to lift into a rep.
     
  15. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    Can he do them if you hold his feet? My grandpa is 76 and can't do a situp on his own. The reason is that he tries to lift his feet for some reason instead of flex his core muscles to pull himself up.
     
  16. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Oh yeah, definitely. This is the closest link: if the toes go in the ground then the muscles that pivot the foot are the first suspect before the muscles that lift the leg :icon_chee
     
  17. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    He was diagnosed with Parkinsonism a few months earlier and is taking the meds. I told the ER the same thing but they only treated his gash and did a head CT. I know part of his problem is neurological but his muscles also need to get stronger to prevent more accidents.
     
  18. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Good to know.


    Yeah, I'll try holding his legs the next time. He has no problem doing the lower abs version: raising his legs up from the supine position but his upper abs are just really weak.
     
  19. dfoster

    dfoster Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    You have the link to the article? I want to print it out and show it to him. I've been trying to tell him that for years.
     
  20. Nickynoneck

    Nickynoneck Purple Belt

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    shouldnt you get some professional advice ?? not talk about it on sherdog.
     

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