Masters Class

With the right train­ing you can main­tain your strength as you get older

Runner's World (UK) - - Con­tents -

Do-at-home moves to help you main­tain your strength af­ter 40

The bad news first: our mus­cles get weaker as we age. Be­tween 40 and 80, peo­ple can lose up to 50 per cent of their mus­cle mass. ‘This re­duces our abil­ity to han­dle stress at the joints and ab­sorb ground forces,’ says Gareth Cole, per­for­mance coach at Third Space health clubs ( The good news is that run­ning, and work­ing on your strength, can slow this process. Re­search in Medicine­and­science in­sportandex­er­cise in 2010 found masters run­ners had, on av­er­age, 140 mo­tor neu­ron units in their shin mus­cles, com­pared with 150 in a group of younger run­ners (av­er­age age of 25) and just 91 for a group of seden­tary older peo­ple. This doat-home pro­gramme from Cole will help masters run­ners main­tain strength and guard against age-re­lated mus­cle de­cline.


The fol­low­ing moves are de­signed to raise the heart rate, ac­ti­vate spe­cific neu­ro­mus­cu­lar junc­tions and mo­bilise the joints. Per­form for 5-10 min­utes.


Sit­ting on floor with your legs straight, place the roller un­der your lower legs, just above your Achilles ten­dons, and roll over it with your hips off the floor. Do 20 rolls.


Ly­ing on your side, with the roller just above your knee, and us­ing your fore­arm for bal­ance, roll all the way up to your hip and back down again. Sit­ting on a roller (with it placed just be­low your coc­cyx), cross one an­kle above the knee of the other leg and roll the glute of the bent-leg side. Do 20 rolls. FOAM -ROLLING Do 20 rolls on each side. @run­ner­sworl­duk RUN­NER’S WORLD 10/16


Us­ing a rail or wall for bal­ance, stand on one leg and swing the other leg, pro­gress­ing to a full range of mo­tion for both side-to-side and front-to-back swings. Do 10 reps on each leg.


Stand­ing in a split stance (one foot placed in front of the other), lift your arms out to your sides to shoul­der height and ro­tate your up­per body from side to side. Do 20 reps.


Stand tall, with your feet to­gether, your legs straight and arms held loosely by your side. Now, slightly push your heels off the floor, then re­turn. Do 20 reps.


Do these moves two (or, if pos­si­ble, three) times a week, with a min­i­mum of 48 hours be­tween each ses­sion. (Re­mem­ber, you’ll be run­ning, too.)


Tar­get the calf mus­cles. With your feet to­gether and legs straight, push your heels off the floor to the high­est point of your tip­toes, then take one leg off the floor and lower down to the floor slowly (five secs). 2 x 20 reps.


Tar­gets the ham­strings and ad­duc­tors. Ly­ing on your back, knees bent and squeez­ing a foam roller be­tween your knees, push your hips up and hold, form­ing a straight line from knees to up­per back. 2 x 20 sec­onds.


Tar­gets core mus­cles. Hold a side plank for five secs. Then roll into a nor­mal plank and hold for five secs. Then roll onto the op­po­site side and hold for five secs. Rolling back to start po­si­tion is one rep. 2 x 5 reps.


This tar­gets the quadri­ceps and mus­cles that sup­port the knee. Stand on one leg and raise the other. Now, al­ter­nately bend and straighten your stand­ing leg slightly. Keep your up­per body ‘tall’. 2 x 20 reps.


Tar­gets the hip ex­ten­sors (glutes), which pre­dom­i­nantly pro­duce the force on push-off. Stand­ing on one leg, bend your knee slightly and bow for­ward with a straight back, keep­ing your hips high and level. 2 x 12 reps.


Tar­gets back, shoul­der and hip ex­ten­sors. Ly­ing face down in a ‘Su­per­man’ po­si­tion, lift your left arm and right leg a few inches off the floor for five sec­onds, then swap sides. That’s one rep. 2 x 10 reps.

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