Our hearty congratulations to our Personal Trainer, Khen Kee Wei for passing his American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) examinations and being conferred as an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist!
Mr Khen is passionate about training seniors on the techniques to strengthening and maintaining muscle mass in order to improve their quality of life. He also leads the Functional Strength Training classes at MGH on Mondays.
On the exercises seniors can do at home to maintain muscle tone, he suggested the following:
Done correctly, this exercise works the muscles in the entire lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles. Wall sits also increase muscular endurance and are a great alternative to squats.
1. Start with your back against the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be 50 to 60cm away from the wall.
2. Slowly slide your back downwards until your thighs are parallel to the ground, as if you are sitting on an invisible chair.
3. Adjust your feet so that your knees are directly above your ankles (not over your toes) and ensure that your back is flat against the wall. Hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds.
4. Repeat the exercise three times.
Straight Leg Bridge with Stability Ball
Work on your glutes, hamstrings and core muscles simultaneously with this exercise. It builds strong core muscles as a foundation for more complex workouts.
1. Lie on your back with the back of your calves and heels resting on the stability ball.
2. Lift your butt off the floor by raising your hips directly towards the ceiling until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to heel, keeping your core tight at all times.
3. Bend your knees and roll the ball towards you until the soles of your feet are flat on the ball. Lift your hands up perpendicular to your body for an added challenge!
4. Push the ball back out until your body is straight again.
5. Repeat this action 10 times for three sets, with a 30-second break in between sets.
Side-lying Dumb bell External Rotation
Strengthen the injury-prone shoulder rotator cuff muscles to keep shoulder injuries at bay.
1. Lie on your left side with a rolled-up towel under your right armpit or right elbow.
2. Bend your right arm at an angle of 90 degrees while holding a light dumbbell. You can replace the dumbbell with a filled water bottle, or do the exercise without weight.
3. Move the dumbbell in an outward arc away from your body. Keep your wrist and elbow at the same angle and do not move or rock the rest of your body.
4. When your forearm is perpendicular to the floor, slowly return to the starting position. Focus on achieving maximum shoulder rotation.
5. Repeat this action 10 times for three sets, with a 30-second break in between. Next, do the same while lying on your right side.
Incorporating these simple exercises in one’s daily routine helps maintain muscle mass so that seniors can go about their daily tasks more efficiently. However, Mr Khen cautions readers to be aware of one’s body limitations, and to stop the workout if one feels any sharp pain.
To make each exercise easier or more challenging, he mentioned that it is best to engage a trainer to customise progressions or regressions for the individual accordingly.
Aside from conducting fitness classes and training at NUSS, this fitness enthusiast works with ACE (American Council on Exercise) on their Personal Trainer programme to educate individuals to become effective personal trainers. He enjoys running and functional body weight exercises on his day off.
If you would like to learn how to become stronger in a safe and injury-free manner, click here