I’m personally not a big fan of the term ‘senior’. The images it conjures up are far different than the folks in the 50+ age group that, for example, I’ve met and trained with at RKC events. I have personal training and boot camp clients that defy ‘senior’ in every sense of the word. And I certainly won’t be excited about being called a senior myself 20 or so years from now 🙂
But in the context of this article, I’m going to use it to refer to individuals over the age of 50. I’ll outline specific training requirements and benefits of working with kettlebells for people in this age group, and then provide you with a kettlebell workout designed specifically for seniors.
1. Get medical clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. Ask if there are any activities you should avoid. Start slow. If you haven’t been active in a while, it can be harmful to go “all out.” Instead, build up your exercise program little by little.
2. Get a qualified instructor who can regress the workouts to your ability and needs. Ideally this would be in person; if for whatever reason that’s not possible, at minimum get some personal guideance in a coaching program like this one: The Kettlebell Basics Weekly Workouts program
1. Kettlebell training – done right – leads to stronger muscles, which in turn lead to multiple benefits, such as:
- less degeneration of cognitive function
- reversal of muscle wastage
- decreased risk of alzheimer’s
- control of diabetes
2. Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. It can help you manage the symptoms of illness and pain, maintain your independence, and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.
3. Research has shown that strengthening exercises (like kettlebell training) are both safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns—including heart disease or arthritis—often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times each week.
Kettlebell Workout For Seniors
Now, keeping everything in mind I mentioned above, here is a kettlebell workout designed for seniors:
- 1 half or full Turkish get up (right and left)
- 10 body weight or kettlebell squats
- 15 kettlebell sumo deadlifts or swings
Repeat circuit three to five times. Rest as much as needed but as little as possible.
Finish with ~ 5 mins. of static stretching.
Questions about how to perform any of the exercises listed above? Check out the kettlebell exercises section of this site: Kettlebell Exercises
In conclusion, kettlebell training is fantastic for folks over the age of 50. If you are in this age group, take into consideration the specific training requirements I listed in this article. Make sure you get a qualified instructor to give you some personal assistance in reaching your kettlebell training goals. And train hard!
Thanks for reading and talk soon –
Forest Vance, RKC II
P.S. Signed up for my e-mail newsletter yet? You’ll get a free copy of my beginner’s guide to kettlebell training when you do so – just drop your name and best e-mail into the box at the upper right of the page to sign up now.