Functional Training for Active Aging
On any given afternoon at Oklahoma Methodist Manor, a group of 18-20 residents, anywhere from ages 75-97, gather together to exercise. While exercise classes may be a common offering in retirement communities, the way in which these residents are exercising, and the results they are seeing are not.
Katie Cox, Wellness Director at Oklahoma Methodist Manor first found Torque Fitness’s TANK at the ICAA conference. Katie now has an expanding group of residents that take part in a TANK class, in order to help increase strength, mobility, endurance, aerobic health, bone density, and overall healthy active aging.
Why Every Eldery Person Should Exercise
As both men and woman age, their bones become more brittle, which can lead to osteoporosis and painful breaks. Aerobic, weight bearing, and resistance exercises have been found to increase the density of bones. By putting more weight or resistance on the outside of bones, the bones respond by laying down more bone material to strengthen themselves.
In a summary of the study done by Maddalozzo, G.F., and Snow, C.M. 2000. “High intensity resistance training: Effects on bone in older men and women.” Calcified Tissue International, 66, 399-404. –
High-intensity and moderate-intensity resistance exercises, when properly progressed and supervised, are safe and beneficial activities for many elderly clients that improve musculoskeletal health and may reduce the likelihood of falling. From the study reviewed in this article, it appears high-intensity resistance exercise yielded slightly greater increases in bone mineral density, lean mass, and muscle strength. However, progression needs to be emphasized in order to prevent overtraining and possible injuries. But most of all, personal trainers should enthusiastically encourage their elderly clients to include resistance training into their lifestyles.
-Heidi M. Weingart, M. A. and Len Kravitz, Ph. D. in Resistance Training and Bone Mass
TANK is a functional, safe, and fun solution for active aging exercise. Because TANK resists the user’s efforts to accelerate and push faster, elderly users are able to build up strength slowly over time in a safe and manageable manner. The science of this resistance is represented by the “TANK Power Curve,” which is a simple lever that allows users to easily adjust resistance without changing weight. For an active aging setting, this is especially convenient, as it means the residents and instructors do not need to remove and add weight. Users can drive TANK to one end of the room and another user can adjust the lever to their ability and push it back. A TANK workout is easy to get into, feels great, takes less time than existing aerobic and strength exercise, and its adjustability allows users of all age and ability to use it easily.
TANK is an All Surface Sled™, meaning the members can drive it down long carpeted hallways, on wood flooring, outside in the park or parking lot, and virtually anywhere else the members want to use TANK. Users like Jim are able to strengthen their back, legs, and core, with the accessories that come in the TANK TEAM TRAINER KIT, specifically the harness in the photo above. TANK also makes for a fun, team-like atmosphere, creating an engaging workout environment that will allow the users to enjoy the class and bond with other residents.
Katie explains some of the benefits one individual, in particular, is seeing with TANK, saying, “I have a 97 year old women who I have using it (TANK). She has broken her hip and has a lot of arthritis in her knees. She uses a walker, and the Tank allows her to strengthen her legs, arms and core without hurting her knees or hip. It provides the “walker” she needs and allows her to exercise. She is just getting started but she is getting started.”
While TANK has proven beneficial for high school athletes, professional football teams, personal trainers, and clubs, TANK is also showing its endless benefits to the active aging community.
For more information about TANK, visit the link here.