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Can we strengthen as we get older?


It is a very common perception that we can’t get stronger & gain more muscle mass as we get older. We know from our myth buster on Monday, however, that this isn’t the case.


There is a wealth of literature to support the fact that we can strengthen at any age, with the general training principles of overload, progression & reversibility remaining paramount. This is so essential as we start to lose muscle mass from the age of 40 onwards, accelerating after 50. The effects of sarcopaenia (age related loss of muscle mass) are profound when linked to basic activities of daily living such as lifting, getting off the floor & preventing a fall.

Are you strong enough to stop yourself falling if someone bumps into you?

Can you withstand the current windy weather?


A recent study compared the effects of resistance training in health adults between the age of 65-75, with those over 85 (mean age of 87). After 12 weeks of resistance training 3 times a week, both groups improved their quadriceps (thigh) muscle mass, knee extension (straightening) strength, timed up & go test score & a subjective physical performance battery score. There was no difference between the 2 groups.

So whatever age you are, you have the capacity to get stronger. Yes, it takes a little bit of effort, but the effects are so rewarding & can be life changing.


Here at Harbourside, we run balance & strengthening classes. Based on our knowledge of the evidence, we incorporate weight training, weighted vests & resistance bands into our exercise programmes to push you to work hard, but very effectively. We monitor changes in your grip strength, ‘timed up & go’ (stand up, walk 3m, turn around & sit down again) & 5 x sit-to-stand score to highlight changes in a recordable manner. Progressions are clear to see in the number of repetitions or sets, ability to balance longer or the amount of weight lifted. There is also a huge change in confidence, plus reduction in anxiety or fear of falling.

Maia, our Sports Rehabilitation therapist, also offers 6-week bespoke 1:1 exercise training packages. This could get you back on track following a fall or surgery, potentially bridge the gap between the Physio clinic & the gym or simply re-ignite your desire to start exercising again.


Contact us for more information on whether our balance & strengthening class, 1:1 rehab, or hydrotherapy pool is the best way for you to get going with some resistance training, whatever age you are.


Call Harbourside today on 01736 366224 or email us at main@harboursidephysiotherapy.co.uk to find out more about the services we offer & to get booked in with one of our experienced team.


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